Green building certification

This section presents an overview of the green building standards and certification programs available in Canada:

Building Owners and Managers Association's Building Environmental Standards (BOMA BESt)

The BOMA BESt program is the Canadian industry standard for commercial building sustainability certification, which is based on the internationally recognized and accepted Green Globes™ environmental assessment platform. BOMA BESt is the only assessment and certification program of its kind for commercial buildings in Canada. It is a unique, voluntary, national program designed to assess environmental performance and management of existing buildings, and is offered by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA Canada) as a service to all commercial building owners and managers across Canada. Certification is available for five specific building types: offices, shopping centres, open air retail plazas, light industrial buildings, and multi-unit residential buildings.

Going green with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)®

LEED is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. As an internationally recognized mark of excellence, LEED provides building owners and operators with the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. Through certifying hundreds of projects over the past decade, LEED Canada has transformed the way built environments are designed, constructed, and operated - from individual buildings and homes to entire neighbourhoods and communities.

Win the energy challenge with ISO 50001 [PDF - 1.3MB]

ISO 50001 provides public and private sector organizations with management strategies to increase energy efficiency, reduce costs and improve energy performance. The standard is intended to provide organizations with a recognized framework for integrating energy performance into their management practices.

Green Key Eco-Rating Program

The Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a graduated rating system designed to recognize hotels, motels and resorts that are committed to improving their environmental and fiscal performance. Based on the results of a comprehensive environmental audit, hoteliers are awarded a 1-5 green key rating and given guidance on how to "unlock" opportunities to reduce operating costs and environmental impacts through reduced utility consumption, employee training, and supply chain management.


The Greenleaf program is an international eco-rating program for the lodging industry. It uses a graduated rating system designed to recognize environmental achievements through a reward of 1 to 5 Green Leaves; 1 for a minimum of committing to a set of environmental principles and 2 through 5 for results in applying those principles. The program was developed based on best practices identified by stakeholders from industry, government, and the environmental community. The best practices are reviewed periodically to ensure that leading practices and technologies define environmental leadership in the program.