LEED certification applies all around the world, and businesses in several countries are seeing the benefits. The United States Green Building Council recently looked at some of the advantages of “going green,” according to a Dodge Data & Analytics report. As the global index noted, the most widely recognized benefit was “lower operating costs,” including those associated with lifecycles.

Approximately 69 percent of respondents identified this as a result of building environmentally-friendly structures. Heather Benjamin, the USGBC’s Content Marketing Specialist, said that the two countries that placed the highest for this were the United States and Colombia.

The two lowest were China and Saudi Arabia, though it’s worth noting that even in the latter, 29 percent of respondents reported lower costs. That’s far higher than any of the two lowest countries listed for other benefit categories, including higher point-of-sale value, flexible design and increased tenant productivity.

While this applies to business benefits, there are advantages to residential LEED ratings as well.

“The exact same building, erected in two different locations, can have a very different environmental footprint,” Rebecca Dalzell explained in a post for the National Resource Defense Council. “But for years, the U.S. Green Building Council’s ratings system for Leadership in Energy and Environmental and Design, or LEED, didn’t take that into consideration.”

The 2015 CBRE Green Building Adoption Index shows a speedy rise in the number of buildings with LEED approval between 2005 and 2014. By the latter year, more than 5 percent of buildings qualified for this standard. San Francisco accounted for the second-highest percentage of certified square footage in the country, behind only Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Although companies can’t get quality office furniture certified directly, they can improve their rankings by making smart choices. Embrace truly sustainable office furnishings that provide real benefits, not just the appearance of being green.