The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC’s mission is “to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.”
USGBC builds on this vision through the development and improvement of the LEED rating system, the LEED professional credentials, robust educational offerings, an international network of local community leaders and USGBC member organizations, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and other USGBC initiatives, as well as through advocacy and outreach that encourages and enables green buildings and communities.
Our goal is green building for everyone
USGBC was established in 1993 with a mission to promote sustainability-focused practices in the building industry. Since the LEED rating system’s unveiling in 2000, it has become an international standard for environmentally sound buildings, certifying hundreds of thousands of square feet per day. Read our 2014 Annual Report and view the 2017-19 Strategic Plan.
LEED is an achievement in better building
USGBC's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings.
- 2.2 million + square feet, or 205,800 square meters, of space is certified LEED daily.
- 92,000 + LEED projects, comprising over 19.3 billion square feet, or 1.8 billion square meters, of construction space.
- 165 + countries and territories with LEED projects.
- 1.6 million + residential units registered or certified with LEED.
The hallmark of LEED is its open and transparent development process.
LEED is developed by thousands of committee volunteers who specialize in various science, specialty and industry fields. LEED follows a consensus based, continuous improvement process. New versions of the rating system and released and subject to public comments and review. Any changes are balloted by USGBC members before finally being released. No other rating system undergo the rigorous development that LEED does, which has propelled it to the most widely used green building program in the world. The current version of LEED is Version 4; LEED Version 4.1 is expected in early 2018.
How LEED works
LEED is based on prerequisites and credits that a project meets to achieve a certification level: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. LEED works for all buildings anywhere.
LEED is market relevant
LEED regularly undergoes evaluations, whether through clarification of specific credit’s language, an adaptation to an existing rating system, or a comprehensive update to its rating systems.
LEED is flexible
We've developed alternative compliance paths to LEED credits, providing more options to address unique circumstances and accommodate advancements in science and technology.
In 1993, Rick Fedrizzi, David Gottfried and Mike Italiano established the U.S. Green Building Council. Their mission: to promote sustainability in the building and construction industry.
That April, representatives from approximately 60 firms and a few nonprofit organizations met in the boardroom of the American Institute of Architects for the council’s founding meeting. It was there that ideas were first aired for an open and balanced coalition spanning the entire building industry and a green building rating system.
Today, USGBC’s constituency includes builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofits, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. Since its unveiling in March 2000, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification system has singled out commercial, institutional and residential projects noteworthy for their stellar environmental and health performance in both the United States and abroad.
USGBC — which in 2009 settled into its own LEED Platinum office in Washington, DC — currently boasts 77 chapters, 13,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 181,000 professionals who hold LEED credentials. Through its nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, public policy initiatives and robust educational offerings (including the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo), USGBC is making cost-efficient, energy-saving green buildings a reality across the country.
Initiatives support our vision
At USGBC, we continue to support sustainable development through professional certificates, green building education, advocacy efforts, events and more.
- LEED professional credentials and certificates
- Education @USGBC
- USGBC membership
- USGBC communities
- Greenbuild International Conference & Expo
- Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council
Advocating for a greener future
USGBC's advocacy efforts work to accelerate the uptake of state, local and national policies that advance energy conservation, green building and livable communities. From the more than 400 municipalities, 32 states and 14 federal agencies that reference LEED as a best-practice for achieving sustainability goals to the Coalition for Better Buildings, the partnership between political advocacy and the green building movement is reflected in accomplishments across the U.S. and globally.
Promoting a greener, more resilient & prosperous future.
Backed by the strength of tools, community and research, we use direct advocacy, strategic partnerships, campaigns and engagement to drive development of green building standards, programs and regulations.
Explore our green building research & data.
Learn more about green building-related and LEED-specific policies across the U.S. in the USGBC Public Policy Library. The library is an interactive platform that shares details on policies at the federal, state and local levels that incentivize, require or otherwise promote green building measures — including LEED. See also: Advocacy Resources.
Our advocacy priorities.
Green building is projected to see positive growth for years to come, with its influence reaching across the U.S. economy, generating significant environmental and social benefits. Review the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study to learn more. Explore our current advocacy priorities:
- Government leadership by example
- Private sector market transformation
- Raising the bar on codes and regulations
- Community-wide sustainability
- 2015 Resilient Cities Summit Report
- Guiding Principles for Green Affordable Housing
- Greenbuild Communities and Affordable Homes Summit
- Green Building City Market Briefs
- Green Buildings for Cool Cities: A Guide for Advancing Local Green Building Practices
- Green For All: Healthy and Efficient Affordable Housing
- Homes Market Briefs
- Local Climate Leaders Profiles
- Oregon and Green Affordable Housing
- Social Equity in the Built Environment: An Initial Framework and Project Examples
- State Market Briefs
- Water Conservation and Water Resource Management in California’s Green Buildings: Data, Insights and Opportunity
- Washington, DC, Building a Green Code