Certification Programs

More than 300 full time GBCI technical experts and consultants specialize in architecture, engineering and building management. GBCI has a global strategic partnership with Bureau Veritas to deliver onsite certification and verification as well in country support to project teams. GBCI is well known around the globe for its commitment to quality and transparency.


GBCI administers the LEED certification program, performing third-party technical reviews and verification of registered projects to determine if they have met the standards set forth by the LEED rating system. Dedicated technical experts ensure building certification meets the highest levels of quality and integrity.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. LEED is the only global rating system that offers regional approaches to environmental and building issues and local resources to help projects on the ground, wherever they are. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

LEED prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for their project. LEED is available for both new construction and existing buildings and for all building types ranging from commercial office spaces, retail, warehouses, data centers, health facilities, interior fit-outs, core & shell development, as well as homes, communities and entire neighborhoods.

  • Proven performance: LEED saves money and energy, reduces water consumption, improves indoor air quality, facilitates better product & material choices, and drives innovation.
  • Continuous improvement: Behind the LEED program is an immense infrastructure developed to support the leaders in the industry as they innovate and create cutting-edge, high performance buildings. We make significant investments each year to maintain, operate and improve LEED and its delivery.
  • Lifetime of returns: LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate, reducing energy and water bills by as much as 40%. Businesses and organizations across the globe use LEED to increase the efficiency of their buildings, freeing up valuable resources that can be used to create new jobs, attract and retain top talent, expand operations and invest in emerging technologies.

Learn more about LEEDGo to LEED Online


GBCI administers PEER, or Performance Excellence in Energy Renewal—a comprehensive, consumer-centric, data-driven system for evaluating power system performance.

PEER is a dynamic, adaptive rating process designed to measure and improve sustainable power system performance. Through PEER certification, power grids have an opportunity to gain competitive advantage by differentiating their performances, documenting the value produced, and demonstrating meaningful outcomes. In the process, the metrics serve as a tool to accelerate transformation of the electricity sector in the marketplace. Modeled after LEED, PEER is the driving force behind USGBC's vision to transform the way power systems are regulated, designed and operated.

PEER takes a comprehensive look at power system performance by setting standards and evaluating performance across four outcome categories.

  • Reliability and resiliency: The intent of this category is to ensure the reliable delivery of electricity and reduce injuries, interruptions and power quality issues. The criteria in this category address power quality, supply availability, interruptions, risk mitigation, restoration, redundancy, and microgrid capabilities.
  • Energy efficiency and environment: Environmental responsibility is increasingly becoming an expectation for both companies and consumers in all sectors. The intent of this category is to assess the environmental impact of electricity generation and transmission and encourage the adoption of clean and efficient energy. The criteria in this category address energy efficiency of power delivery, air emissions, resource use, renewable energy credits, and power delivery impacts.
  • Operational effectiveness: Consumers expect high-quality service from their electricity provider at competitive rates. The intent of this category is to leverage value gap analysis to identify and eliminate waste. The criteria in this category address electricity costs, asset utilization, load shaping, general operation expenses, capital spending or investment, corrective maintenance, and indirect costs.
  • Customer contribution: As automation, intelligent control, and distributed resources are more readily available, customers become an increasingly valuable resource to grid operators. The intent of this category is to assess customer contribution to grid service, investment and innovation. The criteria in this category address customer grid service capabilities, meter data access, tools, choice, incentives, and dynamic pricing.

Learn more about PEER


GBCI administers the WELL Building Standard—an evidence-based standard, which sets performance requirements in seven categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

  • WELL Certification allows building owners and employers to know that their space is performing related to health and well-being.
  • WELL Certified™ spaces and WELL Compliant™ core and shell developments can help create a built environment that improves the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns, and performance of its occupants.

WELL was pioneered by Delos and is managed by the International WELL Building Institute. For projects that are pursuing or have already been LEED-certified, USGBC will align WELL, the LEED Dynamic Plaque and LEED existing building recertification.

Learn more about WELLGo to WELL Online


GBCI administers the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES®)—a program that offers a systematic, comprehensive rating system designed to define sustainable sites, measure their performance, and ultimately elevate the value of landscapes.

SITES is based on the understanding that land is a crucial component of the built environment and can be planned, designed, developed, and maintained to protect and enhance the benefits we derive from healthy functioning landscapes.

SITES provides tools for those who influence land development and management practices and can address increasingly urgent global concerns such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and resource depletion. The SITES Rating System can apply to development projects located on sites with or without buildings, including: open spaces, streetscapes and plazas, commercial, residential, educational/institutional, infrastructure, government, military and industrial.

Learn more about SITESGo to SITES Online


EDGE is a green building certification system for new residential and commercial buildings that enables design teams and project owners to assess the most cost effective ways to incorporate energy and water saving options into their buildings.

EDGE certification is available from GBCI in over 120 countries around the globe. GBCI is a global certification provider for EDGE and the exclusive certification provider for EDGE projects in India. An innovation of International Finance Corporation (IFC), EDGE is a fast and easy-to-use mass market transformation tool. It empowers developers and builders to quickly evaluate and compare estimated costs for design strategies targeting reductions in energy use, water use, and embodied energy in materials. Cost effective strategies integrated into the project design are verified by an EDGE Auditor and certified by GBCI.

The drivers behind EDGE are financial, but the results are environmental — EDGE helps mitigate climate change by encouraging resource-efficient development.

Learn more about EDGE


GRESB is an independently operated subsidiary of GBCI. Established in 2009, GRESB is an investor-driven organization that is transforming the way we assess Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance of real assets globally, including real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets.

The global property and infrastructure industries are at the heart of the most important and far-reaching issues of our time, including urbanization, demographic change, resource constraints, environmental impacts, and emerging technologies. The design, construction and operation of assets reflects, drives and potentially mitigates the impact of all of these issues on occupants, owners, communities and society at large. We can create better places for people and communities—places that reduce environmental impacts, improve social practices, are healthier for occupants and set high standards for corporate governance.

GRESB encompasses more than 190 member companies, 60 of which are pension funds and their fiduciaries, jointly representing more than USD 11.2 trillion in assets under management. GRESB data is used by members throughout the investment management and engagement process, with the clear goal of optimizing the risk/return profile of real asset investments. GRESB seeks to offer investment decision-makers the tools and strategies they need to understand the risks and opportunities for their investments, recognize leadership and innovation, and engage effectively with companies, fund managers and operating partners.

Learn more about GRESB


GBCI administers Parksmart (formerly known as Green Garage Certification), the world’s only rating system that defines, measures and recognizes high-performing, sustainable garages.

Developed by industry experts, Parksmart applies to new and existing facilities and assesses projects in several categories, including parking structure management, programming, design and technology. The Parksmart framework guides projects toward using innovative, solutions-oriented strategies that:

  • Reduce their environmental impact
  • Increase energy efficiency and performance
  • Offer better lighting and ventilation
  • Promote alternative modes of transportation.

Certified green garages save money in operational costs, along with offering many other benefits for building and property owners, drivers, tenants and local communities. Created in partnership with the International Parking Institute and other groups, Parksmart is a field-tested road map for green garages.

Learn more about Parksmart

Zero Waste

GBCI administers Zero Waste certification, which was formerly available from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council. Zero Waste certification is designed for businesses to define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals, thereby reducing their impact on the natural environment and our collective health.

By championing processes to ensure that the materials we produce are made to serve more than one purpose, and by creating cycles of material use and reuse, we can eliminate the flow of toxins and waste into our precious air, land and water. Zero Waste certification promotes positive forces for environmental and economic sustainability in the built environment.

The Zero Waste certification:

  • Supports the definition of no waste to landfill, incineration and the environment
  • Drives the development of new markets and new ideas towards a zero waste economy
  • Meets zero waste businesses request for valid and comprehensive third party certification
  • Focuses on upstream policies and practices beyond diversion or recycling
  • Emphasizes strong total participation: training of all employees, relationships with vendors and customers

Zero waste businesses save money, are more efficient, manage risk, reduce litter and pollution, cut greenhouse gases, reinvest resources locally, create jobs and add more value for their business and the community.

Learn more about Zero Waste