Awareness and early adoption

GBCI was founded in 2008 to drive implementation of the LEED green building program and has proved instrumental in ensuring LEED remains the world’s most widely used green building program. With GBCI’s stewardship, there are now over 104,000 registered and certified LEED commercial projects, nearly 2 million registered and certified residential units, and more than 205,000 professionals transforming buildings and implementing LEED around the world.

Partners In Progress

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a mission-driven, membership-based nonprofit organization that created the LEED rating system and is responsible for maintaining it. For more than 20 years, LEED has retained its status as the crown jewel of green building standards primarily because of USGBC’s in-depth, ongoing improvement process — an undertaking designed and executed with the tremendous contributions of GBCI.

Together, USGBC and GBCI have created an organizational ecosystem that provides real-time adaptability and a future-proofing LEED development and implementation process. With around the clock advancements in strategy and execution, USGBC maintains the LEED rating system and GBCI is responsible for implementing the rating system and physically delivering both the LEED projects that transform the market and the credentialed professionals that bring these projects to fruition.

USGBC sets the overall vision, strategic direction and long-term strategies for the market, and with each professional, each project and each credential GBCI delivers, the global green building community is one step closer to realizing a shared vision for a world where healthy people, in healthy places, equals a healthy economy.

Building on LEED

Over the last several years, GBCI has grown to administer additional complementary rating systems that cover nearly every facet of the sustainability industry. By investing in new rating systems, GBCI is doubling down on how to augment LEED and promote the climate-related issues that most affect today’s communities — such as waste, equity and resilience — and how to protect universal human health and wellbeing for generations to come.

A new vision for a powerful and promising future

In response to COVID-19, in May 2020, USGBC announced a re-imagined vision: Healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy. To complement this, USGBC also released an economic recovery strategy to articulate the interconnected role buildings and communities play in people’s health and the economy at large. This strategy outlines a series of near and long-term actions and priorities that will support the global recovery effort in the wake of COVID-19 and that will leverage the power of USGBC’s worldwide community to shape a healthier future for all and prepare for a more resilient, post-pandemic world.

Correspondingly, GBCI will focus on the implementation of this vision. In addition to expanding the certification field to nurture sustainable business and building practices, GBCI’s will focus on scaling its global business model to be more accessible — and to include a full portfolio of its offerings in countries all over the globe via a system of local and regional branch offices.

The expansion will also include training a global sustainability workforce equipped with a growing list of professional credentials, and helping customers across the globe create cohesive, integrated plans for resilient development and building. And while 205,000 LEED APs is an exceptional roster for today’s work, GBCI plans to match or improve upon that number with hundreds of thousands of professionals from underserved markets tackling issues in the world’s most vulnerable communities.


GBCI works rigorously to maintain quality control on the project certification through global green building standards set and annually reviewed by our board members. GBCI credentialing programs are developed, delivered and maintained using best practices in test development. Since 2011, GBCI’s LEED credentialing programs have been ANSI-accredited under the ISO/IEC 17024:2012, Conformity assessment – General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons.

The quality and rigor of project certification is maintained through standards viewable in fully documented manuals available to the public. These standards are internationally renowned to follow best practices that allow GBCI to be transparent and open to feedback.

As an independent certifying and credentialing agency, GBCI has managed the certification of more than 3 billion square feet of real estate and the credentialing of nearly 190,000 green building professionals (a number that is almost equivalent to the number of architects in the U.S.).

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