India retained its third spot on U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual list of Top 10 Countries and Regions for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in 2023.

248 projects, across both buildings and spaces, were certified for LEED in the country covering 7.23 million gross square meters (GSM). China topped the top 10 rankings for 2023 with over 24 million GSM certified followed by Canada with 7.9 million GSM. The annual ranking by USGBC highlights the significant progress made by countries and regions outside the United States in adopting healthy, sustainable and resilient building design, construction and operations.

LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and the certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. The rating system is available for virtually all building types thus providing a framework for healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.

Over the last few years, India has consistently ranked among the top three countries, underscoring its commitment to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals outlined for 2030. The ranking highlights India’s focus on climate change, with a particular emphasis on Green Development and the promotion of environmentally conscious practices. In India, LEED is administered by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which has been working to accelerate the adoption of green buildings across the country.

Commenting on this milestone, Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan, Managing Director – Southeast Asia & Middle East, GBCI, says, “With India’s rapidly growing urban landscape, the investment in green buildings becomes imperative, which extends beyond resource efficiency and reduced environmental impact; it is a fundamental step towards enhancing the well-being of our communities. India’s consistent presence among the top countries for LEED underscores the dedicated pursuit of sustainable living and widespread adoption of green buildings. India has made a commitment to achieving the Net Zero emission target by 2070, demonstrating its active engagement in global climate initiatives.”

The list is compiled based on data and analysis of LEED-certified Gross Square Meters (GSM) space as of in 2023. While the United States is not included in the list, it remains the world’s largest market for LEED with more than 51 million GSM certified during the year. The ranking of the top 10 countries is as follows:

Country Project count  Gross area (SqFt)  Gross area (Sqm) Rank
Mainland China                 1,563       26,42,87,540.13         24,553,139.671
Canada                    280         8,54,21,062.41            7,935,884.062
India                    248         7,78,91,785.74            7,236,390.693
Turkey                      36         3,13,35,904.56            2,911,203.614
Brazil                    119         2,80,42,859.15            2,605,269.395
Saudi Arabia                      57         2,33,41,412.46            2,168,490.276
Spain                    169         2,15,43,484.55            2,001,457.147
Italy                    135         2,13,50,455.74            1,983,524.168
South Korea                      67         2,02,19,534.97            1,878,458.089
Mexico                      86         1,73,94,234.77            1,615,978.8510

On a cumulative basis, India’s overall commercial projects under LEED stand at more than 2,200 buildings, representing more than 212 million GSM. India is also a global leader in net zero, leading the world in LEED Zero certifications. In 2023, India had 24 LEED Zero certifications. LEED is a recognized symbol of excellence around the world and continues to raise the bar in terms of sustainability for buildings, cities, and communities. LEED provides a pathway to certification for green buildings at the beginning of their sustainability journey, as well as those that are more advanced and looking to verify net zero performance.

Through LEED, USGBC pushes the market toward high-performing buildings. As part of its continued effort to set new benchmarks in the space, USGBC introduced a draft of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) v5 framework for Operations and Maintenance (O+M) in 2023. It is the first rating system to be released under the LEED v5 umbrella. LEED v5 for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) will be rolled out in 2024.

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