Abstract In the past two decades, the growth of the global sustainability agenda has led to the conception of a new business market, most commonly referred to as ‘sustainability services for the built environment’. For developing countries, the emergence of this market represents an opportunity to meet sustainability goals by improving access to skills necessary for improved performance in the design, construction and operation of buildings. Set against global trends in policy and market growth, this paper examines the rise of sustainability services in Malaysia – a developing country with a relatively young, undeveloped market with potential to benefit from market growth. Drawing on first hand experiences of consultants offering sustainability services in Malaysia, the current status of the market and the key barriers are discussed. The paper explores the business opportunities this emerging market has to offer to the Malaysian built environment sector and concludes with the potential it presents to contribute to the country's aspirations for sustainable development.