You probably know Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) as the third-party entity that evaluates and certifies your office's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects. What you may not be aware of is that GBCI currently provides third-party verification services for certification and credentialing on a variety of platforms in addition to LEED.
By implementing a standardized, scientific process through which a product, process, or service is reviewed by a reputable and unbiased third-party to verify that a defined set of criteria, claims or standards are being met, GBCI provides a critical service to a growing global green building industry that ensures credibility, provides metrics for comparisons, and adds additional value to a project.
The family of green business platforms managed and administered by GBCI are growing by a considerable pace as company advances its goals, which are purposefully aligned with the United Nation's Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
The following is a brief definition of GBCI's current list of platforms:
LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for a vast array of building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
LEED is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The WELL Building Standard marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based health and wellness interventions. WELL explores how design, operations and behaviors within the places where we live, work, learn and play can be optimized to advance human health and well-being.
WELL is administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).
Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) is a rating system designed to drive market transformation in the power and energy sectors. The program translates the goals of resiliency, sustainable electricity delivery, and environmental impact reduction into a third-party, metrics-based certification program. PEER aims to provide local, regional, and national government entities, consumers, and energy providers with a shared playbook to realize an updated, environmentally responsible, more resilient electricity infrastructure.
PEER is administered by GBCI.
Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) assesses the sustainability performance of real asset sector portfolios and assets in public, private and direct sectors worldwide. It offers environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, Scorecards, Benchmark Reports and portfolio analysis tools. Assessment participants receive comparative business intelligence on where they stand against their peers, a roadmap with the actions they can take to improve their ESG performance and a communication platform to engage with investors. GRESB has Assessments covering: Real Estate, Real Estate Debt and Infrastructure.
GBCI is the 100 percent shareholder of GRESB.
The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) program offers a comprehensive rating system designed to distinguish sustainable landscapes, measure their performance and elevate their value. SITES certification is for development projects located on sites with or without buildings—ranging from national parks to corporate campuses, streetscapes to homes, and more.
SITES was developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden. Today, SITES is administered by GBCI.
Excellence In Design For Greater Inefficiencies (EDGE) an innovation of International Finance Corporation (IFC), is a green building certification system focused on making new residential and commercial buildings more resource-efficient. EDGE is comprised of a web-based software application, a universal standard and a certification system. EDGE presents the business case for green building in rapidly urbanizing areas, making green building attainable and acting as an important intervention tool in combating climate change.
GBCI administers EDGE certification in nearly 120 countries around the world.
Parksmart is a rating system designed to advance sustainable mobility through smarter parking structure design and operation. Developed by industry experts, the Parksmart framework guides projects toward innovative, solutions-oriented strategies. As USGBC no longer certifies parking garages, Parksmart provide an opportunity for users of LEED and other green building rating systems to uphold a sustainability standard for their parking facilities.
Parksmart is administered by GBCI.
The Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE) Zero Waste rating system aims to divert all solid waste from the landfill, incineration (waste-to-energy) and the environment. The TRUE Zero Waste rating system is an Assessor-based program that rates how well facilities perform in minimizing their non-hazardous, solid wastes and maximizing their efficiency in the use of resources. Certification is available for any physical facility and their operations, including buildings owned by: businesses, property managers, schools, government agencies and nonprofits.
The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council created the rating system in 2013, but in 2016 GBCI assumed responsibility for the ongoing management and evolution of TRUE.
The Investor Confidence Project (ICP) defines processes to capitalize on retrofit opportunities and manages the Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification system. With a variety of commercial and multifamily energy performance protocols in place, ICP aims to reduce transaction costs by assembling existing standards and practices into a consistent and transparent process that promotes efficient markets by increasing confidence in energy efficiency as a demand-side resource.
In 2016, ICP announced a partnership with GBCI to create a scalable platform that will establish ICP as the global underwriting standard for energy efficiency projects.
GBCI recently announced its adoption of the RELi standard. First developed by the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS) and its Capital Markets Partnership (CMP) coalition in 2012, the RELi standard includes a robust integrative process, acute hazard preparation and adaptation along with chronic risk mitigation at the building and neighborhood scale.
GBCI, in conjunction with USGBC, will be leading the further refinement of RELi to synthesize the LEED Resilient Design pilot credits with RELi’s Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation credits.
The City Climate Planner (CCP) Certificate Program aims to cultivate the global talent base of city climate planning professionals through training and professional certifications.
The Urban Greenhouse Gas Inventory Specialist credential focuses on community-level greenhouse gas emissions inventory accounting, which is a key service in developing quality climate action plans. The credential is oriented toward practitioners developing city and community-scale greenhouse gas inventories and is based on the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC)—widely considered to be the most comprehensive global protocol for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas inventories.
The City Climate Planner program is administered by GBCI in partnership with World Resources Institute and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability. The program was developed by the World Bank and global partners with funding from the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund.