The Sustainable SITES Initiative

The Sustainable SITES Initiative is a landscape certification program developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden. It is now administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). The SITES program offers a comprehensive rating system designed to distinguish sustainable landscapes, measure their performance, and elevate their value.

Over the last few years, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification has shown a steady growth in Japan and the variety of projects and certified green buildings have increased considerably in the domestic market. SITES is the landscape certification of LEED.

Land is a crucial component of the building site environment. The value of the land can be elevated by design, and by developing and both maintaining and enhancing the existing benefits of the landscapes. SITES is a guideline that helps create ecologically resilient communities and benefits all the stakeholders including the environment, property owners, and local and regional communities and economies.

SITES, just like LEED, is based on a point system, and it has prerequisites that a project must fulfill before it can earn any additional points that determines the certification level it receives. Depending on the additional credits, the project will be awarded one of the following ranks; Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

What sets SITES aside from other domestic certifications is that it guides the project from as early as the planning stage of the project, to the maintenance stage of the site after its completion. The project will be required to communicate with the stakeholders of the development and to incorporate all aspects that the project may influence. The credit criteria of The Sustainable SITES Initiative can be found in the link below.

Sustainable SITES®

First international SITES project

October 2017, Green Wise Headquarters Rooftop Garden received SITES GOLD certification, the first international project to be certified outside of the United States.

Completed in autumn of 2016, the garden outlines the concept of “Slow Green”, which has a heart for sustainability and circulation, incorporating the native plants and all other living things as our equal stakeholders. Designed with perennial plants and native trees, the garden displays dynamic scenes through the seasons.


News! 2018.6.4 Received Award of Appreciation at WGIC 2018
News! 2018.7.27 Received Award of Excellence at ASLA Florida Design Award

LEED for Homes & SITES Double-Platinum Project

Jindaiji Garden

In the suburban corner of Tokyo, a community garden site called Jindaiji Garden opened in 2018. With two residential buildings and a restaurant, the site contains a community garden, rain garden and ample space covered with rich vegetation, and the landscape received SITES Platinum certification in March 2019. Together with the LEED for Homes Platinum certification received in August 2018, the site has achieved double Platinum certification.

If you want to learn more about SITES, or the SITES certified rooftop garden, please contact