Our Story

In 1993, the first Green Building Council was founded – and a global movement was born. The US Green Building Council was formed by Rick Fedrizzi, David Gottfried and Mike Italiano with a mission to promote sustainability-focused practices in the building and construction industry, and for the first time, brought together the industry across the value chain to advance green building. Around the world, other green leaders in the industry looked to the impact of the USGBC and decided that they too needed to start a similar movement in their own country, led by a Green Building Council.

The green building movement began generating more and more interest around the world, and individuals from across the globe were supported by the USGBC. With this growing global interest, David Gottfried seeded and managed the formation of the “United Nations of the Green Building Councils” with the mission of supporting the development of Green Building Councils around the world, as well as to unite them with a common voice and purpose.

And so began the World Green Building Council. 

In 1999, the founding meeting of WorldGBC was held in California, US and three years later in 2002, WorldGBC was officially formed with Green Building Councils: Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and USA.

In 2007, a Secretariat for WorldGBC was formally established in Toronto, Canada, and vital support was provided by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) – which continues to work with WorldGBC to this day. Essential start-up funding of over $1 million dollars per year for 3 years was provided by the Province of Ontario Canada.

Since then, WorldGBC has seen tremendous growth and evolution in its focus and structure. In 2009, WorldGBC launched five Regional Networks and three membership levels (Prospective, Emerging and Established) to facilitate the growing interest in membership globally. In 2010 a Corporate Advisory Board was formed to deliver strategic insight directly from the industry to the WorldGBC Board. By 2012, the number of member Green Building Councils had grown from 9 to 71.  

The WorldGBC began to play a more globally influential role by producing highly respected reports such as The Business Case for Green Building in 2013 and Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices in 2014. In 2015, the WorldGBC Board agreed a new strategic plan for the organisation with five key areas of focus: Membership; Regional Networks; Projects and Partnerships; Marketing, Communications and Influence; and Governance and Operations.

Since its formation, WorldGBC has grown into a global network of over 70 Green Building Councils around the world. It currently has the largest team to date located primarily in two offices in London, UK, and Toronto, Canada.


Founder: David Gottfried

Founding Chair: Che Wall

Previous Chairs: Che Wall; Kevin Hydes; Tony Arnel; Rick Fedrizzi; Bruce Kerswill;

Current Chair: Tai Lee Siang

Previous CEOs: Andrew Bowerbank; Jane Henley

Current CEO: Terri Wills

Pro bono Legal Counsel: Dan Slone

Secretariat support: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority