Canada has more building space certified under various Leadership in Energy & Environment Design programs than any other country outside the United States, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced.
The USGBC said that this year’s rankings, the second such list it has released, include seven of the world’s 20 largest single-nation economies as well as six of the top 11 producers of greenhouse gases — China, India, Germany, South Korea, Canada, and Brazil.
USGBC CEO Rick Fedrizzi said, “It is now impossible to view social and economic development as separate issues from a robust sustainability agenda.”
The analysis ranks countries in terms of the cumulative amount of gross square meters (GSM) of LEED-certified space, plus the number of LEED projects to date. The U.S. is still the world’s largest market for LEED, the USGBC said, with more than 10 times the certified space as Canada. The U.S. is not included in the rankings.
China placed second in the rankings, with more than 2,000 LEED-certified projects and about 22 million square meters of certified space. India, Brazil, South Korea, and Germany were the next four. (For a full list of the top 10, see below). The numbers reflect certification through July 1, 2015.
Upcoming climate negotiations
The USGBC said that its rankings come in advance of the United Nations’ COP21 climate change negotiations that will take place in Paris from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11. The object is to devise strategies for keeping the global rise in temperature from preindustrial levels below 2 C° — the point at which scientists believe climate change would become dangerous.
Buildings account for as much as 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. That makes the transformation of the global built environment “one solution the entire world can get behind,” the USGBC said.
Nearly 172,000 GSM of space are certified under LEED rules every day, the USGBC said. There are now more than 69,800 commercial and institutional projects, accounting for 1.23 billion GSM, and another 76,500 residential units certified under the LEED for Homes program.
“LEED’s success demonstrates that there are proven, internationally credible solutions to some of the complex questions surrounding climate change mitigation that can help stimulate economic growth while also avoiding harmful economic disruptions,” the USGBC said.
Consumer demand for green buildings also looks like good business. The USGBC said that the green building market hit $260 billion in 2013, and would push the value of the green building materials market to $234 billion by 2019, according to report from Transparency Market Research.