Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences

17 July 2013 — With the built environment expected to double by 2050, the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank, has partnered with the World Green Building Council to scale up the construction of green buildings in emerging markets.

The partnership will focus on rapidly urbanising countries with surging population growth that need to build sustainably to avoid emissions growth, bolster energy security and minimise resource depletion.

The WorldGBC will connect its network of national green building councils to IFC’s investment and advisory program. The WorldGBC’s local affiliate councils will certify green buildings through IFC’s EDGE green building certification system, a new web application that finds ways to reduce energy, water and material consumption by 20 per cent during the early design stage.

“By leveraging the capabilities of the World Green Building Council and IFC, together we can provide accessibility to the entire green building industry while addressing the core needs of developing countries,” said IFC principal industry specialist, green buildings Prashant Kapoor. “It is a window of opportunity to democratise the green buildings market.”

IFC said that while going green in the building business has seemed a luxury for the wealthy or for multinational companies looking to make branding statements, today middle- and low-income buildings could also adopt environmentally sound designs, leading to savings in operational costs, reducing carbon footprints and generating jobs through home-grown innovation.

“The business case for green buildings continues to drive change throughout the world,” said WorldGBC chief executive Jane Henley. “The WorldGBC and IFC are organisations dedicated to transforming the marketplace so that all buildings are more sustainable and efficient. Together, as leaders in this movement, we have an opportunity to directly affect sustainability on a global scale.”

US Green Building Council senior vice president, global policy and law Roger Platt said that beyond environmental outcomes, green buildings could have extensive co-benefits including improved health and productivity.

“Green buildings are part of a global solution,” he said. “The EDGE tool presents some exciting opportunities as an important stepping stone toward global sustainability.”