USGBC Launches LEED Zero Program

The new program is aimed at projects that are LEED-certified and provide 12 months of performance data across four categories.

The U.S. Green Building Council has launched LEED Zero, a new program that is designed to address net zero operations and resources in buildings. This new green building movement was initially released in September at the Global Climate Action Summit.

The program is open to all LEED projects certified under BD+C (Building Design and Construction), ID+C (Interior Design and Construction) and O+M (Building Operations and Maintenance) rating systems, as well as to the projects registered to pursue LEED O+M certifications. Specifically, LEED projects can achieve LEED Zero certification when they demonstrate any or one of the following:

  • net zero carbon emissions
  • net zero energy use
  • net zero water use
  • net zero waste

In order to achieve any of these net zero certifications, projects must be LEED-certified and must provide 12 months of performance data across any or all of these categories.

“Net zero is a powerful target that will move the entire industry forward,” Melissa Baker, senior vice president of technical core at USGBC, said in prepared remarks. “For years, LEED projects around the world have aspired to net zero milestones. We are recognizing the leadership of these projects—and formalizing our commitment to focusing on carbon and net zero across the entire LEED community. These new certification programs will encourage a holistic approach for buildings and places to contribute to a regenerative future and enhance the health and well-being for not only building occupants but all of humanity.”

“For more than two decades, LEED has provided a framework for high performance buildings and spaces, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions through strategies impacting land, energy, transportation, water, waste and materials,” added Baker. “Building on that work, LEED Zero is a complement to LEED that verifies the achievement of net zero goals and signals market leadership in green building.”