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 sq m) 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 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” Platt added.
As part of USGBC’s commitment this week, over the next five years the organization is working to expand in the following areas:
|Area of Focus||USGBC Commitment|
|Green Certified Buildings||Scale up to support certification of a projected 5 billion square feet (478 million square meters) of green building with LEED and EDGE.|
|Workforce Capacity||Expand platform worldwide for green building education, and, with educational partners, double the non-English offerings.|
|Finance||Advance building performance transparency metrics for the financial community, including tools for investors, lenders and underwriters through USGBC’s involvement with GRESB and other initiatives to recognize and reward green attributes in building portfolios.|
|Government Policy and Strategy||Continue to advocate for and assist with the development of policies and strategies for public and private sector green building at all levels of government throughout the world.|
|Measurement and Accountability||Support key tools that enable and encourage building performance transparency: the LEED Dynamic Plaque, which looks at performance feedback at the building scale; the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG.org), which consolidates building achievement information; and benchmarking ordinances, which create accountability and incentive for improvement.|
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.