By Kenedy Witherow,
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)
This year at Greenbuild, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announced their strategic partnership to create a dual certification for buildings that prioritizes wellness and sustainability.
This comes after a push throughout the last several years for landlords and tenants to prioritize well-being and sustainability. Rachel Hodgdon, president and CEO of IWBI, stated in an interview that “by forging this alliance with USGBC, we’re sending a powerful market signal that sustainability and health must go hand-in-hand.”
Starting in early 2023, the USGBC and IWBI will work together to build a process for dual certification. The agencies have partnered before to create ORIGIN, a user-friendly database that helps companies find certified sustainable building materials. This next chapter in their partnership is expected to be a powerful push for leadership and will increase the pressure on real estate to prove that buildings should be healthy and sustainable.
How will this work?
The partnership will streamline the process for achieving dual WELL and LEED certifications through a new two-way crosswalk and a coordinated third-party review overseen by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). This partnership will coordinate across shared organizational objectives, such as elevating equity in the built environment, opening new sources of capital for green and healthy buildings, and bringing a unified voice to these shared priorities.
The USGBC and IWBI are working to roll out a more robust way to integrate the two rather than simply relying on the current crosswalks. However, the existing crosswalks continue to provide insight and help guide the process. The partnership hopes to offer more concrete details in early 2023 and is also focused on exploring future opportunities to accelerate the adoption of LEED and WELL.
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