The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced today that it will commit to scaling green buildings to more than 5 billion square feet (478 million square meters) over the next five years through the LEED and EDGE green building rating systems.
USGBC’s commitment was made at Buildings Day, an official event at the United Nations climate negotiations conference known as COP21.
“As we gather around the imperatives to address climate change at COP21, we know that buildings must continue be a key focus area for countries to reach carbon emissions reduction goals,” said Roger Platt, president, USGBC. “By encouraging the use of green building rating systems like LEED and EDGE in both the public and private sectors, countries can log immediate and measurable reductions of these emissions as their building stock uses less energy and water, creates less waste, saves money and creates a healthier environment for everyone.”
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the world’s most widely used green building rating system. LEED projects can be found in more than 150 countries and territories throughout the world, with more than 1.85 million square feet of space being certified everyday. Designed for emerging economies, EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) is a green building certification system for new residential and commercial buildings that enables design teams and project owners in developing countries to assess the most cost effective ways to incorporate energy and water saving options into their buildings. USGBC’s sister organization, Green Business Certification Inc., is the exclusive certification body for LEED globally and EDGE in India and also certifies EDGE projects in other countries throughout the world. GBCI oversees a portfolio of additional rating systems and programs that support carbon reductions as a way to mitigate climate change.
USGBC joined 25 other Green Building Councils from around the world that unveiled commitments at COP21 to transform the sustainability of buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that the building and construction industry plays its part in limiting global warming to 2 degrees. Buildings in general currently account for about one third of global emissions, and green buildings are one of the most cost-effective solutions to climate change, by generating significant environmental, economic and societal benefits.