Learn how California uses LEED to contribute to a healthier environment.

On February 4, USGBC announced the Top 10 States for LEED, which highlights U.S. states that made significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and performance over the past year. The annual ranking assesses the total square feet of LEED-certified space per resident in 2018.

USGBC is committed to ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future and a higher standard of living for the next generation, because we believe that changing one life, one neighborhood or one city can change the world. And that future would not be possible without the extraordinary work being done in this year’s Top 10 States.

This year, we applaud and celebrate both the projects and the people who are working to create lasting, measurable change in their communities.

Contributing to a healthier environment in California

  • Top 10 States for LEED rank: 9
  • Number of projects certified in 2018: 521
  • Certified gross square feet: 112,388,968
  • Gross square feet per resident: 3.02

The state of California has been a leader on environmental and energy policy for decades, and has been a longtime leader in green and sustainable development as well. California has consistently forged bold approaches to clean energy and climate policy.

Notable examples include:

  • Vehicle emissions standards that surpass federal goals
  • The Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB32, a comprehensive program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources throughout the state
  • CALGreen, the first state-mandated green building code in the nation
  • Ambitious net zero energy goals or all new residential buildings by 2020 and all new commercial buildings by 2030.

To learn more about green building policies in California, check out our interactive public policy library, which houses details on policies that incentivize, require or promote green building measures—including LEED.

In this video, Maria Ortega, of NS Bluescope Coated Products North America, discusses how states across the U.S. are mandating LEED, and how LEED is playing a large role across the western U.S. and California in contributing to a healthier environment.

Has LEED made an impact on your quality of life? Have you noticed LEED improving your community or city? We want to hear from you. Share your stories with us by signing up for the Living Standard campaign at livingstandard.org.