The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, D.C., launched LEED Zero, a new program that will address net zero operations and resources in buildings.

“Net zero is a powerful target that will move the entire industry forward,” says Melissa Baker, senior vice president of technical core. “For years, LEED projects around the world have aspired to net zero milestones. We are recognizing the leadership of these projects, and formalizing our commitment to focusing on carbon and net zero across the entire LEED community. These new certification programs will encourage a holistic approach for buildings and places to contribute to a regenerative future and enhance the health and wellbeing for not only building occupants, but all of humanity.”

LEED Zero is open to all LEED projects certified under the BD+C, ID+C or O+M rating systems, or projects registered to pursue LEED O+M certification. LEED projects can achieve LEED Zero certification when they demonstrate any or one of the following—net zero carbon emissions, net zero energy use, net zero water use or net zero waste.

“For more than two decades, LEED has provided a framework for high-performance buildings and spaces and reduced greenhouse gas emissions through strategies impacting land, energy, transportation, water, waste and materials,” adds Baker. “Building on that work, LEED Zero is a complement to LEED that verifies the achievement of net zero goals and signals market leadership in green building.”