Net zero begins with sustainable buildings

Tanvi Kapoor
October 15, 2021

What’s common among some of the best buildings in the world? They’re sustainable and green. With levels of carbon dioxide in the environment at their highest in four million years, an urgent worldwide campaign has commenced in recent years to get countries and businesses to commit to becoming net zero by the year 2050. And some of the world’s biggest companies and investors are also earmarking huge amounts of money to enable a dramatic shift away from fossil fuels.

Today, green building certifications like LEED are not only associated with energy-efficient, environment-friendly building design but are also recognized as useful tools for creating a healthier working environment for the inhabitants of our buildings and public spaces. Around the world, green buildings are being created in line with resilience-enhancing designs, technologies, materials and overall best practices.

For more than 25 years, USGBC, GBCI and the global green building community have worked together to advance green building and create a more sustainable world. The four pillars that will support the next 25 years of our critical work are sustainability, health and wellness, resilience and equity. Becoming a member of USGBC is about being part of a community that cares for and is committed to the environment.

Since its inception in 2016, GBCI India has provided on-the-ground support to various project teams and professionals advancing LEED in the Southeast Asia region. The team at GBCI India is committed to working with our members across the region, whose stories are highlighted below, to advance LEED.

Mr. Oliver L. Chan, Senior Vice President, Arthaland Corporation, Philippines, said “Being a member of USGBC strengthens Arthaland Corporation's commitment to sustainability and advancing the green building movement in the Philippines. We value the attainment of LEED certification as it helps us build credibility and differentiate our projects in a competitive market. But more importantly, its standards create measurable goals and achievements which we use to be able to benchmark and calibrate our product offerings. By always aiming for the highest LEED certifications for every project, it guides and challenges us to be better in our approach and in how we do things. Our close collaboration and participation in the programs of USGBC fortifies our commitment to build best-in-class and sustainable communities for our customers.”

Echoing this sentiment while stressing that green is not only sustainable but also profitable, Mr. Gregers Reimann, Managing Director, IEN Consultants Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, said, “Our USGBC membership is simply good for business. It allows us to stay abreast with the latest developments in the green building sector and to continuously upgrade our own LEED certification skills through regular courses, webinars and conferences. Moreover, we enjoy and benefit from the regular personal interaction with the staff at our regional GBCI office. In a fast-moving world that is transitioning to complete decarbonisation for the building sector and society in general, keeping one's finger on the pulse with a USGBC membership is indeed worthwhile.  

One thing that all LEED buildings have in common is their unwavering commitment towards making a difference to their communities by implementing green strategies that conserve energy, reduce and reuse waste or water and promote sustainable practices that lead to reduction of carbon emissions. There are over 1110,000 registered and certified LEED commercial projects across 182 countries and territories, nearly 2 million registered and certified residential units and nearly 205,000 professionals transforming buildings and implementing LEED around the world. One of the ways in which companies can actively demonstrate their commitment towards becoming net zero is by becoming a USGBC member. Find out more about becoming a member here.

“Being linked to an international community of experts in sustainability was the main reason for membership. The wealth of info and data that was shared through the LEED community allowed us an insight to global sustainability efforts and helped us convince our clients to adopt LEED for their projects in our region.” adds, Mr. TAN Phay Ping, Managing Director, Building System and Diagnostics Pte Ltd, of Singapore

Highlighting the impact of LEED on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, Mr. Dean Barone, Director and Climate Leader, Barone International, Philippines, added “Being a member of  USGBC has helped us to be connected to a global community of professionals addressing the climate crisis through building and community projects and also access USGBC’s educational platforms by all our team members. When Barone International started consulting for first few LEED projects in the Philippines, many developers were skeptical that LEED would work in tropical countries. However, it only took a few LEED Gold and Platinum certified projects for Developers to understand how LEED certified buildings augur well for People, Planet & Profit. Barone International is excited to continue our support of the Building Development community in the Philippines as we pursue critical net-zero goals through LEED certification.” 

Highlighting the efficacy of LEED and its relevance across project types, Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong Thu, Managing Director, GreenViet Consultancy Co., Ltd., Viet Nam, concluded, Among various certification schemes, LEED is prevalent in our portfolio that accounts for 70% of our workload. The LEED application to various project types as well as interaction with LEED review teams help reinforce our technical expertise therefore, we can provide appropriate sustainable strategies to our clients.  As a LEED Proven Provider, GreenViet can add more values to our services with more trust, less risks and shortest review process.”

We're celebrating LEED Week from October 11-15! To check out projects in Southeast Asia and around the world that are advancing decarbonization and impacting our health and wellness, view our LEED Lookbook.