The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a nonprofit organization committed to transforming the nation’s construction industry by promoting the values of the green building rating system Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Its mission is to facilitate healthier, more socially and environmentally responsible buildings and communities that improve quality of life.
The USGBC has seven guiding principles: reconcile humanity with nature; promote the triple bottom line with solutions for people, the planet, and profit; establish leadership; foster social equity; maintain integrity; be inclusive; and exhibit transparency. Its current strategic imperatives are to: expand the green building marketplace; expand sustainable, healthy, and resilient communities, cities, and cultures; assess and communicate the benefits of green building, communities, cities, and cultures; and guarantee viability through organizational and community excellence.
In 1993, the USGBC developed LEED alongside a coalition of architects, nonprofits, and other representatives from across the building industry. LEED is a holistic system based on sustainability and ecology that establishes standards and roadmaps for building design, construction, and operation. LEED-certified buildings are more energy efficient, use less water, reduce maintenance costs, dispose of less waste, and have better indoor air quality, among other benefits for the health and wellness of communities and occupants.
In addition to LEED, the USGBC works towards its sustainability goals through educational programs—such as the Center for Green Schools—and advocacy work. The USGBC also founded the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, an event they host for green building professionals to exchange knowledge and experiences, build relationships, and present innovative sustainability solutions.
The USGBC functions at the national, state, and local level across a network of chapters and affiliates. Although its work is based in the United States, its mission, programs, LEED, and certification organization—the Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI)—are international, with an active presence in 167 countries around the world.