Premier Certification Providers to Help Expand IFC’s EDGE to Nearly 100 Countries

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The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will join forces with the world’s premier certification providers – Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and thinkstep in partnership with SGS – to take IFC’s EDGE green building program to scale in nearly 100 emerging market countries. The certification providers will help mainstream resource-efficient building construction in emerging markets and mitigate climate change. The announcement was made as part of World Green Building Week, an interactive forum to promote the role that buildings play in our sustainable future. 

GBCI and thinkstep-SGS will stimulate demand, drive certification uptake and train independent auditors to engage with clients, assessing their work before rewarding projects with EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) certification. GBCI and SGS currently serve as local certification providers for EDGE in India and Vietnam respectively, which has helped them prepare for global readiness, according to IFC.

IFC’s aim is to transform 20 percent of the construction market in rapidly industrializing countries with the support of governments, financial institutions and industry associations, led by green building councils who serve as national certification providers in such countries as Costa Rica and Indonesia. Resource-efficient buildings can significantly benefit the poor, as utility bills can absorb as much as 30 percent of a homeowner’s income in developing countries. 

“Market transformation will require widespread participation and EDGE will help achieve our longstanding goal of green buildings for all within a generation,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, COO, U.S. Green Building Council and President of GBCI. “EDGE helps provide financially attractive measures for new construction projects and upgrading to more comprehensive green building practices. GBCI is ready to accelerate the progress of EDGE around the world.” 

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“EDGE is a first-of-its-kind approach to persuade the industry to change course and build green,” said Nicolas Kyndt, Global Vice President, SGS Environmental Services. “Our strategy is to achieve success by generating wide-spread recognition, satisfying demand through excellence in delivery, and ensuring a ripple effect of green construction.” 

Thomas Saunders, EDGE Program Manager for thinkstep, added, “Rapid economic development and urbanization are creating a huge demand for housing and commercial space in developing countries. We are excited to play such a crucial role in the success of EDGE, which will encourage and reward developers that meet this demand with green buildings, ultimately leading to a more sustainable future.” 

“Our global certification providers will build capacity and volume to seize the window of opportunity that lies before us,” said Prashant Kapoor, IFC’s Principal Green Building Industry Specialist and the inventor of EDGE. “The power and potential for EDGE with its speed, simplicity and rich data is now in their incredibly capable hands.” 

IFC has a green building portfolio of $1.5 billion, which includes its own direct investments and mobilized financing. Complementing its investment work, IFC advises governments on green building regulations in Colombia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.


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