As our world continues to face environmental challenges, the need for sustainability has never been more urgent. From reducing carbon emissions to creating energy-efficient buildings, professionals in the AEC industry are under increasing pressure to create sustainable structures.  

Let’s dive into various certifications that can show you off as a candidate committed to environmental stewardship. 

Sustainability Certifications for AEC Professionals  

Green or sustainability certifications recognize individual knowledge and skills in environmental sustainability. These certifications come in various forms and focus on sustainable design, construction practices, and energy efficiency. 

They’re also a way to ensure that professionals in the built world do their part to protect the environment and promote sustainable practices. Here are 21 sustainability certifications you should know about as an AEC professional. 

1. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 

LEED is the world’s most recognized green building certification program that demonstrates expertise in sustainable design and construction practices.  

Offered by the US Green Building Council, it provides a framework for designing, constructing, and operating sustainable buildings.  

2. WELL Building Standard 

The WELL Building Standard focuses on creating buildings that promote the health and wellness of occupants. Developed by the International WELL Building Institute, it addresses factors such as air quality, water quality, lighting, and acoustics.  

3. Living Building Challenge 

The Living Building Challenge certification program promotes cutting-edge sustainability practices. It goes beyond LEED by requiring buildings to be net positive in energy and water use and to incorporate regenerative design principles.  

4. Green Globes 

Green Globes is a certification program that guides the design and construction of green buildings. Developed by the Green Building Initiative, it covers energy efficiency, water conservation, and indoor air quality.  

5. Passive House Institute US 

Passive House is a building standard that emphasizes energy efficiency and airtightness. The Passive House Institute US offers certification programs for professionals who want to demonstrate expertise in designing and building high-performance buildings that meet the Passive House standard. 

6. Envision 

Envision is a sustainability certification program for infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and airports.  

Developed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, it covers community impact, climate and resilience, and resource efficiency. Professionals who earn an Envision credential demonstrate knowledge of sustainable infrastructure practices. 

7. Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE) 

TRUE is a certification program focusing on zero waste and resource efficiency to impart knowledge in sustainable waste management.  

Developed by the US Green Building Council, it guides reducing waste by increasing recycling and composting in buildings and businesses.  

8. Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) 

SITES is a certification program for sustainable land development and management. Developed by the US Green Building Council, it covers site selection, water conservation, and biodiversity.  

9. Certified Energy Manager (CEM) 

The Association of Energy Engineers offers the CEM credential. It recognizes professionals who demonstrate knowledge of energy management principles and practices. CEMs are equipped to identify and implement energy-saving measures in buildings and facilities. 

10. Building Performance Institute (BPI) 

The BPI offers various certifications for professionals working in the building performance industry to improve energy efficiency, health, and safety of buildings. These certifications cover energy auditing, weatherization, and healthy homes.  

11. Green Advantage 

Green Advantage is a certification program that focuses on sustainable construction practices. It covers energy efficiency, water conservation, and indoor air quality.  

12. Fitwel 

Fitwel is a building certification program that focuses on the health and wellness of building occupants. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Services Administration, it addresses physical activity, healthy food options, and access to nature.  

13. Certified Carbon Reduction Manager (CCRM) 

The Association of Climate Change Officers offers the CCRM credential. It recognizes professionals who demonstrate knowledge of carbon reduction principles and practices.  

CCRMs are equipped to guide the sustainable development of buildings, communities, and infrastructure by reducing carbon emissions. 

14. Certified Sustainable Development Professional (CSDP) 

The Association of Energy Engineers offers the CSDP credential. It recognizes professionals who demonstrate knowledge of sustainable development principles and practices.  

CSDPs equip you to identify and implement sustainable practices in buildings, communities, and infrastructure. 

15. Energy Management Professional (EMP) 

The Association of Energy Engineers offers the EMP credential, which focuses on energy management principles and practices. With an EMP, you can earn expertise in identifying and implementing energy-saving measures in buildings and facilities. 

16. Certified Green Professional (CGP) 

The CGP credential is offered by the National Association of Home Builders, which shares knowledge in green building practices. If you’re interested in designing and building energy-efficient and environmentally responsible homes, CGP can be a good choice for you. 

17. Certified Sustainable Building Advisor (CSBA) 

The Sustainable Building Advisor Institute offers the CSBA credential. CSBAs equip professionals to provide consulting services to clients who want to build or renovate sustainable buildings. 

18. Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) 

The Association of Energy Engineers offers the CEA credential, which recognizes individuals who demonstrate energy auditing principles and practices. CEAs equip professionals to identify energy-saving opportunities in buildings and facilities. 

19. Certified Sustainable Transportation Professional (CSTP) 

The CSTP credential is offered by the Association for Commuter Transportation, centered on sustainable transportation practices. CSTPs are equipped with training that helps professionals design and implement sustainable transportation solutions for communities and businesses. 

20. Green Roof Professional (GRP) 

The GRP credential, offered by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, recognizes professionals who demonstrate knowledge of green roof design and installation practices. GRPs are equipped to design and install green roofs with environmental benefits such as stormwater management and improved air quality. 

21. Building Operator Certification (BOC) 

The BOC is a training and certification program for building operators. It covers energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and preventive maintenance that helps build sustainable operations. 

How to Choose the Right Certification Program 

With many green certification options, you might find it challenging to choose a suitable one for your personal goals. You need to consider factors such as your career goals, your current level of expertise, and the industry standards in your field before deciding. 

Here are six steps you can follow to make the process less daunting. 

1. Identify your career goals.

Determine what you want to achieve in your career and what skills and knowledge you need to acquire to reach your goals. 

2. Research the available certifications.

Look for certifications that align with your career goals and the skills you want to acquire. Also, keep your eyes on the various certification programs offered by reputable organizations in your field. 

3. Evaluate the requirements.

Consider the requirements of each certification program, including the prerequisites, training, and examination. Ensure that you meet the requirements and that the program benefits you. 

4. Consider the cost and time commitment.

Evaluate the cost and time commitment of the certification program. Determine if the investment is worthwhile based on the potential benefits of the certification. 

5. Consult with peers and experts.

Seek advice from professionals in your industry who have completed the certification program. Ask for their feedback and recommendations. 

6. Choose the best certification for you.

After considering all the factors, choose the certification program that best aligns with your career goals and meets your requirements. 


After completing your training program, you are most likely eligible to take your career to the next level. Don’t let the uncertainties about finding a suitable role hold you back. Enlist ACS Professional Staffing to find organizations with similar interests in environmental sustainability. 

You don’t have to wait until your training is complete. Contact us right away to get the help you need!