IFC backing green building policies leads to a drop in emissions


The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched a report on recommendations and results for policies to encourage green building construction.

Green Buildings Policy Pathways for Emerging Markets summarises the support IFC has provided to government leaders to achieve success in reducing energy and water usage, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

The report was launched at a recent IFC summit for the Latin American and Caribbean region, themed Reactivating the Construction Sector with Green Buildings.

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For the past decade, IFC has provided advice and technical support to policy makers to create strategies that unlock green building growth. These include green building codes, energy labels, and incentives.

The financier partners with governments while ensuring collaboration with the private sector, so policies have a strong chance at uptake.

As a result of IFC’s support of green building policies, two million tons of greenhouse gases are avoided annually, which is equivalent to removing 426,000 cars off the road.

Energy usage has been reduced by 3.2MWh annually – enough to power more than 2.59 million homes. Operational savings from less energy and water usage are estimated at $310 million annually, benefiting those who rent and own buildings.

“IFC’s new report highlights how we’ve helped governments to establish public policies that lead to resource-efficient development and improving people’s lives,” said Marcene Mitchell, the global head of business development for IFC’s climate business department.

Mitchell added: “These policies are most effective when combined with incentives from financial institutions that are tied to green building certification. We see this as the most promising way forward to scale up green buildings.”

Case studies from China, Colombia, Indonesia, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam show how progressive policies reduce costs for citizens while creating more competitive cities with greater economic opportunity.

IFC reiterated that the organisation aims to support governments in the creation of models that can be replicated either locally or regionally, to ensure the sustainability of urban environments.

Reactivating the Construction Sector with Green Buildings summit brought together 700 government leaders, senior executives, and green building experts who spoke about their success in driving market transformation in Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

The dialogue included addressing pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic and the interconnective roles the public and private sectors will need to play to build back better after the crisis.

“We created a green mortgage product that enabled us to retain a competitive advantage,” said Camilo Albán, the Vice President of builders and mortgages for Davivienda in Colombia who spoke at the summit. “In parallel with our nation’s progress in green building regulations, we’ve helped to encourage a more sustainable future.”

Read the full Green Buildings Policy Pathways for Emerging Markets report.