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What is a green building rating tool?

Green building rating tools – also known as certification – are used to assess and recognise buildings which meet certain green requirements or standards. Rating tools, often voluntary, recognise and reward companies and organisations who build and operate greener buildings, thereby encouraging and incentivising them to push the boundaries on sustainability. They kick-start the market by setting standards that then in turn elevate the ambition of government building codes and regulation, workforce training, and corporate strategies.

Rating tools vary in their approach and can be applied to the planning and design, construction, operation and maintenance, renovation, and eventual demolition phases of a green building. Rating tools can also differ in the type of buildings they are applied to, with specific tools or subsets of tools used for different building types such as homes, commercial buildings or even whole neighbourhoods.

Green Building Councils and rating tools

Green Building Councils, which are members of the WorldGBC global network, develop and administer many of the world’s ratings tools. By 2016, 1.04 billion square metres of green building space (an area 10 times the size of Paris) had been certified around the world through member Green Building Councils.

WorldGBC recognises the power that rating tools have had in transforming the sustainability of building and firmly supports their use. We recognise that every rating tool is different, and that the member Green Building Council in a given country is best-placed to develop or select a rating tool that is best suited to their particular market. WorldGBC therefore takes a neutral approach to individual rating tools and does not advocate the use of one specific tool over another.

However, with the widespread use of rating tools around the world, WorldGBC believes that each green building rating tool must be meet quality standards. In 2015, WorldGBC published the Quality Assurance Guide for Green Building Rating Tools – a step by step to guide for the operators of new, emerging and established rating tools to ensure that their development and implementation is robust, transparent and to a good standard.

List of green building rating tools

Below is a list of rating tools (in alphabetical order) that are administered by our Green Building Councils. This is not a comprehensive list, as there are a number of green building rating tools and certifications that exist but are not administered by a World Green Building Council member Green Building Council.