2020 year in review: GBCI Latin America

Nicolette Bohnett

In January of 2020, the Latin American team, Rebeca Ortiz, Maria Alex Cardona, Sandrino Beltrane, and I got together, and we talked about how we’d incorporate the theme of resiliency into our plans for the year.

I’d like to celebrate the resiliency of the Latin American market and share the highlights of 2020:

New Projects

  • Over 300 new projects registered for LEED in 2020 bringing our regional total to nearly 3,000 registered projects in 18 countries in Latin America.
  • Over 250 LEED certified projects
  • Nearly 2,000 projects reporting their performance in the Arc platform, making Latin America the #2 global region for the most projects reporting sustainability performance
  • The first Pre-certified Gold SITES project in Brazil
  • 201 EDGE projects in Latin America
  • The second TRUE certified project in Latin America
  • 8 LEED Zero certified projects for Energy, Water, Waste, and Carbon

New Professional Credentials

  • 125 new LEED Green Associates
  • 41 new LEED APs (BD+C, ID+C, O+M, and ND)
  • 26 TRUE Advisors in 10 countries who understand zero waste
  • 17 new WELL APs
  • 14 new Green Raters to help green the residential market
  • 4 new LEED Fellows from Latin America
  • 1 new SITES AP


We held our first-ever virtual and bilingual USGBC Leadership Awards ceremony that honored project teams and organizations who are leading the way with Platinum achievements and corporate commitments. We celebrated outstanding projects like Iconica Cubos Luxury Living in Guadalajara, one of the global winners for the LEED Homes Awards for 2020. We are so proud of project teams who implemented principles of green building design across a range of projects: From an EDGE certified hospital in Mexico that was built in just nine weeks to serve patients suffering from COVID-19, to Brazil with the first LEED Zero Carbon and LEED Zero Water certified projects.

Virtual Conferences & Events

Throughout the year we hosted, co-hosted, and participated in virtual events and conferences. Nearly 2,000 people participated in USGBC’s virtual International Education Series in English and Spanish. The conference featured great content which is available on-demand, like this presentation on how buildings are the key to helping achieve national goals for zero carbon emissions.

The GBCI Latin America Town Hall Series in August gave us a chance to hear from the CEOs of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Brazil GBCs as well as a keynote about the new strategy and vision from USGBC/GBCI CEO, Mahesh Ramanujam. The Town Hall events are also available on-demand and with Spanish and Portuguese subtitles, making our mission and vision more accessible across the Americas. Click the link to find the recording with subtitles: Mexico & Central America; Spanish-Speaking South America. We were proud to partner with Colombia GBC on a very successful virtual Construverde and with GBC Brasil for their annual Green Building Brasil event which brought thousands of people together from across Latin America and around the world.

The team also hosted regular virtual events in collaboration with SUMe, CCCS, GBC Brazil, and Chile GBC. We shared important updates and resources in Spanish and Portuguese about the LEED Safety First pilot credits, the Arc Re-Entry Guide, and Social Equity and much more on the GBCI Mexico website. Our team co-hosted regular series of events featuring case studies of successful projects and panel discussions with project owners and teams.

Technical Trainings & Translations

We strove to build professional capacity across our community with technical trainings, professional certificate programs, and free on-demand education to grow market awareness and adoption.

  • TRUE Zero Waste
  • Green Rater
  • LEED for Cities & Communities
  • Arc for performance and professionals

The team also published a series of videos to YouTube across multiple organizational channels as well as the USGBC Education platform.

Looking forward to 2021

While we eagerly await the day when we can all get together again in person, we’ll continue to bring you new stories about great projects and professionals, new resources to share with the market, and much more.

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