USGBC regional leadership award recipient, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which is a specialized agency of the United Nations, invests in millions of people in vulnerable populations around the world including small-scale food producers, entrepreneurs, women and young people in an effort to transform rural economies and food systems by making them more inclusive, productive, resilient, and sustainable. 

These themes extend from their work into their operations. In 2010, their 25,000 square meter headquarters in Rome certified to LEED Gold. They then bested themselves and recertified to Platinum in 2015. And in early 2021, they recertified again at Platinum with a score of 90 — becoming the highest-scoring EBOM certification in Italy. 

Dave Nolan, IFAD’s facilities management officer, is proud of the building’s technical achievements but has said that staff behavior change has been key to the recertification success. Staff efforts have ranged from abolishing plastics to using local products in the cafeteria. They have changed commuting habits, reduced business air travel, and are encouraging alternatives such as video conferencing or travel by train or other means where possible. 

Dave described LEED Existing Buildings as “not just a certification” but as an ethos and a way of life. The IFAD team have more than proven their way of life and ethos over their decade-plus journey with LEED. It’s in their buildings, it’s in their work — and it’s in their people.