This is the first installment of a monthly blog series –Agenda 2030– connecting the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the mission of GBES–Advancing the green building movement through best-in-class education and encouragement

Green Buildings Matter in SDG 9 for Global Goals

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 9, is why Green Buildings Matter. Business happens within the built environment. To create the sustainable industry we need peace and prosperity, we need a strong backbone of sustainable infrastructure. The green building movement can already look to one huge champion for SDG 9. 

USGBC’s LEED green building rating system has been blazing the path of sustainable infrastructure for over two decades. They continue to provide strong leadership by engaging their entire membership in innovating their rating systems. In January 2019, USGBC published the LEED BD+C v4.1 rating system. This is just one example of how an organization commits to the SDGs through performance metrics and market leadership.

Industry Sustained through SDG 9 Innovation

Through the evolution of the material and resource credit language in LEED rating systems, industry has also made significant leaps in sustainability. However, if students are protesting their government’s inaction towards climate change, then it’s too early to sit back and admire our progress. Alas, industry must push harder to sustain leadership in global climate action.

Public and private industry must close the resource loops upstream in the manufacturing of goods as well as downstream in the operations of facilities. SDG 9, as a global call to action, includes innovation, because to get all industry aligned with green and healthy systems, we need to think big and take risks on creative solutions.

You Design the SDG 9 Infrastructure 

Realizing this goal in 2030 could look like–

Decentralized networks–

of regenerative systems–

 flowing through living buildings.

And the 2030 goals could also look like–

Interconnected everything–

Sharing resources via blockchain

On 5G networks.

What the UN says about #Goal9 Sustainable Infrastructure   

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. (

Key business themes addressed by this SDG 

  • Infrastructure investments
  • Access to financial services
  • Environmental investments
  • Research and development
  • Technological legacies

Most Relevant SDG 9 Targets for Green Buildings


By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.

SDG Indicator 9.4.1

CO2  emissions per unit of value added.

SDG 9.5


Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending.

SDG Indicator


Research and Development (R&D) expenditure as a proportion of GDP.

How Can I Contribute to Global Peace and Prosperity through SDG 9?

  1. Join the Green Building Matters Community – An Education and Encouragement Membership that connects you to peers for advancing the green building movement.
  2. Connect to your nearest Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) or start one in your city!
  3. Host a Think Tank. “You can foster your and your colleagues’ entrepreneurial spirit by organizing a local idea contest and inviting companies or startups to mentor the winners.” (
  4. Advance the sustainability movement by earning a sustainability credential. GBES can help make that process easy. Click the image below to help advance the green building movement with the LEED Green Associate credential!