aka ILFI   |   Seattle, WA   |


The mission of the International Living Future Institute is to lead the transformation toward a civilization that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Lindsay Baker

Main address

1501 East Madison Street Suite 150

Seattle, WA 98122 USA

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NTEE code info

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Mission The International Living Future Institute’s mission is to lead the transformation toward a civilization that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. History and Values The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) was founded on the challenge to be “good”, instead of doing “less harm” to one another and the environment. We imagined buildings that produced more energy than they consumed; collected and reused their own water; avoided toxic materials; and served the needs of diverse communities. In 2006, Jason McLennan launched the Living Building Challenge (LBC), the built environment's most rigorous performance standard. ILFI was created in 2009 to advance the Challenge and other visionary programs that address our core values: to be stewards of this planet and each other. Our world is in crisis - we cannot afford to be “less bad” anymore. ILFI has developed a proven solution and an inspirational roadmap for what good can look like for everyone.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge successfully shows how humans and their built environment can be harmoniously, benignly integrated within ecosystems. Its rigorous standards and innovative, revolutionary approach to building are already having a considerable impact on the thinking of designers and architects around the world, influencing all levels of design and technological approaches, radically pushing forward the field.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Zero Energy Building Certification™:
- Verifies the building is truly operating as claimed, harnessing energy from the sun, wind or earth to exceed net annual demand. It’s one thing to say a building is zero energy; it’s another thing to prove it.
- Provides a platform for the building to inform other efforts throughout the world and accelerate the implementation of restorative principles.
- Celebrates a significant accomplishment and differentiates those responsible for the building’s success in this quickly evolving market.

Population(s) Served

The Living Community Challenge addresses a current and pressing need for an ambitious, compelling and actionable vision for radically transforming how existing cities relate to the resources they rely upon. This project supports and promotes both visionary leaders and inspirational city models and policies. Living Communities tap into the enthusiasm generated by the Living Building Challenge and help cities transform these visionary efforts into practical, leverage-able and transferrable solutions. The Institute began helping city leaders assess and redefine their existing policy structures and informing city leaders about transformative urban planning models. Our goal is that these planning projects evolve into demonstration projects in the pilot cities to promote a new paradigm for urban sustainability based on an endgame philosophy of true sustainability.

Population(s) Served

In 2014, with the visionary support of the JPB Foundation, the Institute launched the Living Product Challenge. The Living Product Challenge raises the bar on what truly sustainable manufacturing should be and catalyzed a movement towards transparency and toxic chemical avoidance across the building industry with the Declare label. One of the most important successes of this project has been changing the prevailing sentiment in the building industry that all product information should remain secret. In just three years, and despite some industry opposition, ingredient disclosure has become mainstream and Declare has been adopted by LEED, WELL, Google’s Healthy Materials Program and embraced by a growing list of major manufacturers.

Population(s) Served

The ILFI Zero Carbon Certification is the first worldwide Zero Carbon third-party certified standard. This program recognizes the growing interest and focus on a broad-based tool for highlighting highly energy efficient buildings which are designed and operated to fully account for their carbon emissions impacts.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of buildings that have been certified as Living Buildings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Living Building Challenge

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

As of April 1, 2021, we have a total of 180 LBC certified buildings across the globe.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

ILFI partners with key stakeholders in the green design industry, government agencies, companies, universities, and other institutions to address the intersection of climate change, public health, and equity. We do this by offering a data-driven solution to change the world. We certify buildings and products; provide technical expertise; set policies and standards; conduct research and develop resources; educate practitioners and manufacturers; and inspire a global movement where regeneration is the gold standard.

ILFI is creating a living future for everyone, regardless of income. Unhealthy living and working conditions have impacted low-income, minority, and black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities at historically higher rates. The lack of racial diversity within the green build sector means that those with lived experiences are not represented. ILFI has a solution to increase their voices and representation, internally and externally.

ILFI has re-committed to ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training to understand the presence of white supremacy culture within ILFI and our industry. Then, making concrete plans to weave DEI into all facets of ILFI - from our culture (ex. weekly affinity learning groups), to our hiring practices, to how we set up our standards/handbooks, to our internal/external communications, to how we conduct business.

This internal work has set the stage for creating more tangible strategies to strengthen our industry. We are re-evaluating and improving our products/programs, and standards/handbooks through a DEI lens.

Building and Product Certifications
We offer six building and product certifications that are holistic and performance-based. They include seven impact areas, called Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty. The Petals break down into 20 performance indicators, called Imperatives.

-Our Living Building Challenge (LBC), Living Product Challenge (LPC), and Living Community Challenge (LCC) represent the highest standards for regenerative design in the industry, and require projects/products to achieve all seven Petals and 20 Imperatives.

Our Challenges are ambitious, so we offer additional certifications in key impact areas that serve as stepping stones to achieving a Challenge - Zero Carbon Certification (ZC), Zero Energy (ZE) Certification, and Core Green Building Certification (Core).

Transparency Labels: Anyone, in any sector, can demand change. We offer three transparency labels - Declare, Just, and Reveal that serve as “nutrition labels” for businesses to disclose their product’s ingredients; organizations to share their social equity initiatives; and companies to reveal their building’s energy efficiency, respectively. These labels are the entry points to driving change and become critical Imperatives for our Challenges.

Education, Events, Ambassador Network: Finally, our story is amplified by the people who educate, inspire, and propel our movement forward. We invest in building industry capacity through on-demand education and Living Future Accreditation (LFA) credentials, our visionary events that connect industry professionals, and our global network of 117 ambassadors.

2020 has been a year of reflection and assessment. Through new leadership we have augmented our operations to maximize mission delivery of our programs and services. This has led to an increase in registrations, certifications and engagement with our communities. Because the climate crisis and social reconciliation towards an equitable and just society is ongoing, we anticipate the demand for our services to increase. We are committed to ensure we meet this need head on with a commitment to philanthropic partnerships with anyone who wants to support our plan for saving the world.

Today, on nearly every continent, through over 867 registered projects and products and 213 certified projects and products, ILFI is working to create a living future for everyone. We exist to serve the individuals living and working in certified Living Buildings; the employees working for companies with Just, Reveal, and Declare labels; and the designers, developers, and architects creating Living Buildings. In 11 years, we have grown from a vision to a movement with measurable impact. ILFI has set the challenge to change our world, and each day, we are demonstrating what good looks when the built environment centers equity.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Anthony Guerrero


Term: 2020 - 2022

Jason F McLennan

McLennan Design

Anthony Guerrero


Paolo Bevilacqua

Frasers Property

Elizabeth Heider

Margaret Montgomery


Thomas Bland

Vivian Loftness

Carnegie Mellon

Heather Henrikesen


Adrianna Quintero

Energy Foundation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/15/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.