Sustainability credentials – Which ones are the best for real estate?

0 CommentsBy




Posted by:
Carey Guerin
Sustainability University


With the LEED credential exams changing again this summer, green real estate credentials might be on your mind.

If you don’t have a LEED credential yet, should you rush to get one before they change the exams – probably. But let’s review some popular options.


The USGBC’s LEED credential is the most recognized sustainability credential in real estate. The successful marketing of their certification system over the past 10+ years makes this credential widely recognized by current and potential employers and clients. While studying for the LEED Green Associate exam, a person is exposed to the LEED rating system, but more importantly, a person is exposed to green building concepts that have now become fundamental knowledge for real estate professionals. For $300 or less total upfront expenses, this is a great bargain for an employee’s career and their employers.

Green Globes Professional

Like the LEED credential, a Green Globes Professional is exposed to green building concepts and learns the specifics of the rating system (in this case Green Globes). There are over 1000 Green Globes certified buildings in Canada and the US and is currently one of the few alternatives to LEED certification for a building or space. As this rating system continues to grow its presence, the $875 total upfront expenses (be sure to check their qualifications) is a great way to stay in front of the green certification curve.

Up and coming credential

People looking for not only basic green building concepts, but more in-depth knowledge of sustainable operations of a building, might want to look at a fairly new credential available. IFMA’s Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) is in its 3rd year and provides a good overview of sustainability concepts relevant to real estate along with helpful implementation information. $1500+ might be a lot of money compared to other credentials available, but the in-depth content and strong focus on a building operator/manager’s viewpoint is not as prevalent in the other credentials.

More technical oriented individuals should look at credentials available from the Association of Energy Engineers. Many of our Portfolio Energy Managers, experts brought on board to drive sustainability campaigns across a portfolio, hold credentials from here such as Certified Energy Manager or Energy Auditor, along with the ones mentioned above.

Since JLL is a global company, we have many other sustainability credentialed professionals throughout the world that hold credentials relevant to their market such as Green Star in Australia and BREEAM in Europe. Too many to cover in one blog post! As with all credentials, you need to weigh the cost of the credential with what you get out of the credential with your career goals and experience. A credential is just one part of your career plan, but no matter what you decide to do for your career, the steps you take to increase your knowledge in green real estate practices will have a positive return on investment for you, your company, your clients and the planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *