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 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.

The LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. The rating system is available for 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.

Commented Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan, Managing Director – Southeast Asia & Middle East, GBCI, “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 has made a commitment to achieving the Net Zero emission target by 2070, demonstrating the country’s active engagement in global climate initiatives.”

The list is compiled based on data and analysis of LEED-certified 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:

U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual list

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 leading the world in LEED Zero certifications. In 2023, India had 24 LEED Zero certifications. As part of its efforts to set new benchmarks in the space, USGBC introduced a draft of the LEED v5 framework for Operations and Maintenance (O+M) in 2023. It is the first rating system to be released under the LEED v5 umbrella and will be rolled out in 2024.