Canada has placed first on the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Top 10 Countries for LEED list for the second year in a row, ahead of the United Nations’ COP21 climate negotiations this December.
The annual, international ranking recognizes countries outside the U.S. that are advancing in sustainable building design, construction and transformation. A further breakdown of the 2015 ranking shows Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta are leading the way.
“By leading the global adoption of LEED, Canada’s building industry is demonstrating how business and sustainability can go hand in hand to reduce environmental impacts including carbon emissions,” said Thomas Mueller, president and chief executive officer of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). “Building owners and developers are increasingly making LEED an integral part of doing business spurring demand for innovative products, technologies and services, and, in the process, creating jobs and positive bottom lines.”
CaGBC says greenhouse gas emissions from the Canadian building sector have deceased since 2005, despite a growing population and building stock. The Canadian government has listed buildings as the fourth leading cause of emissions, contributing 12 per cent of the country’s overall emissions.
Rick Fedrizzi, chief executive officer and founding chair of the USGBC, said LEED has become a significant way for Canada to mobilize local communities and, as a result, participate in climate change mitigation on an international level.
“It is always encouraging to see highly developed nations such as Canada rally around the idea that increased sustainability does not need to come at the expense of a high standard of living, and that making this type of commitment actually enhances national well-being,” he said.
Through analyzing countries in terms of gross square meters and numbers of commercial and institutional LEED projects to date, USGBC’s ranking results are:
- Republic of Korea
- United Arab Emirates