China leads on sustainable buildings

China Continues Leadership in Certified Green Buildings

China, India, Canada and Turkey lead the sustainable charge in the green design, construction and operations of buildings – that’s the conclusion of the US Green Building Council (USGBC), which recently released its annual ranking of countries and regions outside of the US that are making significant strides in sustainable design, construction and operations.

A non-profit organisation with a vision of achieving a sustainable built environment within the next generation, the USGBC provides the world’s most widely used green building rating system – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) .

China Achieved 1,583 LEED Projects Certified in 2023. This marks the third consecutive year that China has topped the international list, surpassing its tally of 1,121 certified projects in 2022.


China’s lead in eco-friendly building follows the country’s rapid development in urbanisation, especially across large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong province – where existing buildings are being greened as enterprises increasingly look to reach net-zero emissions.

Like much of the world, China is pursuing a decarbonisation strategy using subsidies and governmental policy – which includes tighter requirements in key sectors including infrastructure, transportation, and industrial parks – with a goal to be carbon neutral country-wide by 2060.

“China continues to be a global leader for LEED green building due in large part to the commitment of companies and organisations to transform our communities into healthier, more sustainable places for us all,” said Andy To, managing director, GBCI China and Northeast Asia.

Top 10 Countries and Regions for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in 2023

The projects certified in 2023 represent a broad range of sectors that are using LEED as a critical tool to support ESG strategies and meet climate goals, explains To.

There are four levels of LEED certification, from Certified to Silver, Gold and the top, Platinum.

Among LEED certification projects in China, the headquarters of WeBank and Volkswagen Group China (both Platinum pre-certification), headquarters of JLL Shanghai (world’s first WELL and LEED-Platinum), and Nike China’s Logistics Center, the country’s first LEED Platinum warehouse. Not to mention, Johnson Controls Asia-Pacific HQ in Shanghai with LEED Platinum.

Source: Sustainability Magazine, (Extract) February 21, 2024.