Massachusetts Tops List of Greenest States

USGBC ranking is based on LEED-certified gross square footage per capita over the past year.   January 30, 2023

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor 

The search for energy efficiency, water conservation and overall sustainability continues in all types of institutional and commercial facilities nationwide. Given these ongoing efforts, just how well are individual states doing? The U.S. Green Building Council has the answers. 

USGBC recently released its annual ranking of U.S. states leading the way on green building, with Massachusetts topping the list. The ranking is based on LEED-certified gross square footage per capita over the past year. 

“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 well-being and resource efficiency,” says Peter Templeton, USGBC president and CEO. “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.” 

The states following Massachusetts — where 96 buildings encompassing over 26 million square feet were LEED-certified in 2022, equating to nearly 3.7 LEED-certified square feet per resident — were Illinois (3.47 square feet per capita), New York (3.17 square feet per capita), California (2.43 square feet per capita) and Maryland (2.39 square feet per capita). 

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 the 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. Here are the top 10 states: 

  • Massachusetts 
  • Illinois 
  • New York 
  • California 
  • Maryland 
  • Georgia 
  • Colorado 
  • Virginia 
  • Texas 
  • Oregon 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facilities market. He has more than 25 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 




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