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Annual ranking puts Illinois as leading state for green building in 2022

U.S. Green Building Council annual ranking recognizes commitment to LEED certification,  sustainable communities

On Jan. 17, 2023, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)  released its annual ranking of U.S. states leading the way on green building, with Illinois landing at number two, besting states like New York (third) and California (fourth). USGBC’s ranking is based on LEED-certified gross square footage per capita over the past year. The LEED rating system is the world’s most widely used green building program and was created by USGBC as a leadership standard defining best practices for healthy, high-performing green buildings.

“It was a strong year for LEED certifications across the U.S. as companies and governments embrace LEED as a tool for meeting ESG goals and organizational commitments to climate action, occupant wellbeing and resource efficiency,” said Peter Templeton, USGBC president and CEO. “In Illinois and elsewhere, LEED buildings are environmentally friendly, cutting their emissions and waste, and use less energy and water. At the same time, they also help reduce operational and maintenance costs, contributing to the bottom line.”

In 2022, Illinois had 91 buildings LEED-certified projects, totaling over 44.5 million square feet or 3.48 square feet per capita. Office buildings, residential apartment buildings, government buildings and schools are among those that were LEED-certified last year.

The only state ranking ahead of Illinois was Massachusetts (3.76 LEED certified square feet per resident).

As a federal territory, Washington, D.C., does not appear in the official top 10 list of states, but it consistently leads the nation in LEED-certified square footage per capita, in part because of the federal government and District’s ongoing commitments to green building. In 2022, the nation’s capital certified over 46 square feet of space per resident across 115 green building projects.

All top ten states are listed here:

In 2022, the top 10 states certified 1,225 projects and over 353 million gross square feet under LEED.

Since it was first established in 2000, LEED’s metrics-based system has set the standard for healthy, resilient, green buildings. In 2022, USGBC surpassed 100,000 LEED certified projects globally, totaling more than 11 billion certified gross square feet.

Additional information on the 2022 rankings, along with a listing of notable projects, can be found here.

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