photo of certification badges

Marketing Your Project

LEED® registered, under certification review and certified projects



Earning LEED certification is a milestone to be celebrated, and is a point of pride for organizations as it demonstrates their commitment to sustainability.

To ensure accuracy in the marketplace, it is important to understand that the various stages of certification deserve different communication messages and CaGBC has guidelines for how to properly refer to your project whether it is registered, undergoing certification review or certified.

If you have already received official notice to confirm the certification of your project, you’ll also find some useful marketing tips, a news release template, and awards information to aid in your completed project’s success story.



Registered

Undergoing
Certification Review

Certified


Promotional Tools

LEED Promotional Plaques


Additional Promotional Tools

Registered

Congratulations on registering your project for LEED certification. Registering is the first step in the LEED certification process, and is a great way to indicate your project's intention to build to LEED standards.

Once a project is registered, the project team begins to prepare and collect documentation and calculations to satisfy the prerequisite and credit submittal requirements. As this first step is an important one in your road to certification, it is important to ensure that your project is referred to appropriately.


Referring to a registered project in promotional materials

When referring to an officially registered project, it is important to ensure proper language in order to protect the value of LEED certification.

As is referenced in the official LEED Brand User Guidelines, a LEED registered project may be referred to as a “LEED® Candidate” or, as an alternative for broader public use, “LEED® Certification Candidate”. A registered project can also utilise the LEED Registered logo.

It is also appropriate to refer to your project as “registered with the intention to certify”, or “targeting [level of certification]” – keeping in mind that a level of certification is not guaranteed until the certification has been awarded.

Registered projects should never be referred to as “LEED certified”

While registration does indicate your commitment to certifying a building, it cannot legally be referred to as certified until you have received official notification.

Trademark and copyright infractions are taken very seriously by the CaGBC and will not be tolerated. If the project does not comply with LEED registered trademark guidelines and continues to do so after being contacted, the CaGBC will send a legal cease and desist letter to the owner, and this will result in legal action if changes are not made within the designated timeframe.


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Undergoing certification review

Congratulations on the successful completion of your project, you are almost at the finish line! Your paperwork has been submitted for certification review, and it is only natural that you are eager to begin promoting your accomplishments to stakeholders and the public at large.


Referring to a project under review in promotional materials

When referring to a registered project that is currently in the review or submittal stage, the same rules apply as when the project is registered.

As is referenced in the official LEED Brand User Guidelines, a LEED registered, but not yet certified project may be referred to as a “LEED® Candidate” or, as an alternative for broader public use, “LEED® Certification Candidate”. A project under review can also utilise the LEED Registered logo.

It is also appropriate to refer to your project as “registered with the intention to certify”, or “targeting [level of certification]” – keeping in mind that a level of certification is not guaranteed until the certification has been awarded.

Projects under review should never be referred to as “LEED certified”

Despite the fact that the project's scope is complete the project has not completed the certification review. It is therefore not yet LEED certified, and cannot be referred to as such. This includes referring to the building as 'LEED certified' or a 'LEED certified project'.

Once the review process is complete and you have received confirmation of certification, you are now ready to begin promoting your project as LEED certified.


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Certified

Congratulations! LEED Certification distinguishes building projects that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability by meeting the highest performance standards, and it is likely that you'll now want to promote this to stakeholders, clients, employees and the public.

During the final stages of the certification process, the owner of the project will receive an email that includes a confirmation form which they are required to complete and return. The form includes the option of providing a Marketing Contact for the project.

LEED plaques and promotion

Once the confirmation form is received, a plaque and certificates will be provided. There are many options to customize your plaque and to promote your certification – visit our plaque options page to learn more. There are additional promotional tools, like banners, decals and more – your project may be eligible for FREE promotional materials.

*Please note that LEED Canada for Homes projects do not receive a plaque, but may purchase one specially designed for residential projects. See details here.


Additional Promotional tools

Learn about banners, decals and more – your project may be eligible
for FREE promotional materials.


Inclusion in LEED Project Profile database and other marketing support

In addition to the official email confirmation, you will receive the LEED certified logo for use in promoting your accomplishment.

You will also receive an email providing you with a temporary link to your project's profile in our online LEED Project Profile database. After receiving this email, you will have 14 days to view and edit your current profile where you can upload three project photos, write a project summary, include a team list, and upload a project abstract. These are all voluntary options; however they will vastly enhance the public profile of your project.

Should you choose to upload photos to the Project Profile, one of the photos will be highlighted in our monthly eNewsletter that reaches over 10,000 members. If you do not wish to upload photos, your project name and details will still be published in the newsletter for the corresponding month.

Other CaGBC Marketing support for LEED certified projects includes the opportunity to receive (when requested by you):

  • A quote from the CaGBC's CEO for your news release, and a fact-check, if desired (five business days turnaround time is required).
  • A LEED and CaGBC backgrounder for the project owners' media kit.

These services are offered through CaGBC's Marketing and Communications team as a way of providing added value to your announcements and promotional material.

For additional questions on promotional material at any time, please contact CaGBC Marketing and Communications.

Referring to a certified project in promotional materials

As is referenced in the official LEED Brand User Guidelines, your certified project can now be referred to as "LEED® Certified" or "LEED® [level of certification] Certified". A certified project can also utilise the LEED Certified logo.

Common language errors made when referring to a newly certified project

Due to the complicated nature of LEED certification and what it involves, it is easy to improperly explain or refer to the newly certified project. Listed below are a few examples of common mistakes made when communicating a LEED certified project.

  • Do not refer to the project as 'LEED accredited'. Accreditation is something that LEED Consultants or experts earn as a professional designation; projects earn certification.
  • References to "LEED" require the registered trademark (®) in all public information material. It only needs to appear the first time the term LEED is used, but is legally required within all material.
  • LEED is not an award, it is a certification achieved through independent review of design, construction, operation and maintenance practices. You can refer to your building being 'awarded' LEED certification, but not has having received an award. It has received certification.
  • The CaGBC will not confirm 'firsts' of any kind in relation to a LEED certified building, and we do not encourage projects to do so either. If you do decide to refer to your project as a first of any kind, it is done at your own risk and the CaGBC cannot be attributed or associated with that claim in any way.

How to write a LEED certified project news release

Announcing your LEED certified project is a great way to get media attention, generate buzz or interviews about the project, and highlight its unique green features. The CaGBC does not write news releases on behalf of projects, but does provide a fact-check with our LEED team and quote for your news release from the CEO of CaGBC.

To aid in the promotional campaign of your project, we have listed below a few examples of published news releases in which we have contributed review and a quote. This is by no means the only way a news release for a certified project can be written; this is to help provide a starting point for approaching how to communicate your project.


Other promotional tips

As the number of LEED certifications grows in Canada, so does the number of announcements and other promotions related to these projects. So, how do you make your project stand out?

Each project, regardless of its level and type of certification, has interesting features or goals that make it unique. It is always a good idea to speak to the LEED Consultant and/or project team to find out what makes your project stand out. Things to keep in mind are:

  • How much water, energy or other environmental savings does the project provide?
  • What type of building or space are you promoting? Is it a school, a condo building, or a factory? Why did this project want to attain LEED certification and how does this benefit it?
  • There are new and innovative green technologies being developed and implemented each day in green building; maybe your project has one or more of these fascinating new technologies.
  • Do you have a green roof that also feeds your building's inhabitants? Is the insulation from the walls made with sustainable materials?
These are the kind of features that media and the public love to hear about.

 

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Additional information and questions

For additional questions about promoting your project, please feel free to contact CaGBC Communications at any time.
For additional, more detailed information about branding, please refer to the LEED Brand User Guidelines.