Washington, D.C. (Sept. 9, 2019)—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released a new report, LEED in Motion: Retail, showing the prevalence of Leadership in Energy and Design (LEED) certification in retail spaces around the world. LEED is used in more than 12,500 retail locations globally, allowing major brands like TD Bank, Starbucks, 7-Eleven and more to demonstrate achievement of environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals to their investors, customers and other stakeholders.

“Now, perhaps more than ever before, consumers demand transparency and responsibility from the brands they support,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and chief executive officer of USGBC. “The retail sector is no exception, and many retailers recognize the importance of developing healthy, sustainable spaces that both delight their customers and support the larger community. LEED provides these businesses with a powerful tool to meet their commitments and to attract consumers.”

As brands with brick-and-mortar retail spaces seek new ways to stand out from online competitors and peers, sustainability has become an asset. By leveraging LEED, retailers effectively communicate their values to consumers and employees, while also reducing energy costs and minimizing waste. 


LEEDis the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED certification is available for virtually all building types, including neighborhoods, cities and communities.

Research from the Retail Industry Leaders Association shows that 93% of global consumers expect the brands they use to support social and environmental issues. An estimated 68 million adult Americans base their purchases on their values (personal, social and environmental) and say they will spend up to 20% more on environmentally sound products. This clear preference for responsible business is pushing the retail sector to embrace policies and practices that express their dedication to sustainability and social equity.

Retail spaces are woven into neighborhoods and communities and the retail sector comprises a significant portion of the U.S. economy. In just the first quarter of 2019, the retail trade in the U.S. was responsible for $1.9 billion in gross output, amounting to 5% of total gross output across all sectors. Retail supports one in four jobs in the U.S., making it the largest private-sector employer.

Green buildings offer a practical solution for companies seeking to future proof and make an immediate impact on climate mitigation. By building offices, manufacturing facilities and stores that deploy green building strategies, retailers can truly embrace a triple bottom line philosophy—supporting the health of their employees and customers, promoting environmental conservation and saving money on energy, water, and waste management.

For more information, visit usgbc.org.