IFC’s EDGE green building certification gets the nod from SA’s real estate leaders

Innovators from the financial and property development sectors share green ambitions with their peers in a symbolic turning point for South Africa’s built environment 11 August 2017, Johannesburg, South Africa: More than eighty CEOs and their management teams from South Africa’s finance and property development sectors attended a forum today to share the business case for committing to design and certify their new homes with EDGE. Hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group that focuses on the private sector, the event took place at Drivelines Studios, located in the heart of Maboneng, a residential complex made of up-cycled shipping containers that is still undergoing the final stages of construction. At the forum, property developers revealed to their peers the facts and figures behind their decisions to green their portfolios going forward. Their insights reflect the industry’s experience that more customers are demanding homes that will save them money on energy and water bills. The presence of the investment community proved that financiers are starting to respond to the trend towards new housing stock that qualifies for special financing instruments such as green bonds and green mortgages. Speaking at the event were Harold Spies, CEO and Founder, Similan Properties; Stephen Brookes, CEO and Founder, Balwin Properties; Lee Mhlongo, CEO, FNB Housing Finance; Rob Wesselo, Country Director, International Housing Solutions; John Schooling, Managing Director, STAG African; and Paul Boynton, CEO, Old Mutual Alternative Investments. IFC created EDGE to respond to the need for a measurable solution to prove the financial case for building green and help jumpstart green buildings, including in South Africa. EDGE includes a voluntary certification system as well as complimentary online software to empower builders to quickly determine the most cost-effective ways to build green. EDGE can also be used to streamline eligibility procedures and reporting for financial institutions as they transition to green investment portfolios, empowering the creation of such innovations as green mortgages and green bonds. The South African government plans to mitigate 614 MtCO2e by 2030, in part through solar water heaters, solar PVs and energy-efficient lighting. Combined with the keen interest of the government, South African firms have indicated their plans to certify at least 60 percent of their projects green by the end of 2018, according to the World Green Building Trends 2016 report. Resource-efficient homes provide a tangible value that can be passed to customers in the form of utility savings. Green homes also have less negative impact on the environment and reinforce a more sustainable corporate brand. IFC has a green building investment portfolio of nearly $3 billion, which includes its own direct investments and mobilized financing. Complementing its investment work, IFC advises governments on green building regulations in Bangladesh, Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Panama, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam. EDGE certification services in South Africa are offered exclusively by the Green Building Council South Africa. For more information, visit GBCSA’s website. About EDGE An innovation of IFC, EDGE helps property developers to build and brand green in a fast, easy and affordable way. EDGE is supported by free software that encourages solutions to reduce energy, water and the energy used to make building materials by at least 20 percent, which is the standard for EDGE certification. The program has been generously supported by the following donors: Austria, Canada, Denmark, ESMAP, EU, Finland, GEF, Hungary, Japan and Switzerland. For more information, visit www.edgebuildings.com.


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