What is a Green Building?
IFC’s definition of green buildings.
From almost 15 years of investing in green buildings, IFC has learned that green buildings should be:
“1 - Certified as green under one of the internationally recognized certification standards or an approved national standard.
2 - At least 20 percent more energy efficient than a baseline building without energy-efficient design.
3 - Able to quantitatively report impact metrics, such as energy and water savings, and greenhouse-gas emissions reductions".
The focus on operational energy efficiency and the resulting reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions aligns with what large commercial banks consider to be the most material characteristics for their green real estate portfolios.
Energy use can be measured and verified; however, focusing on this alone disregards the other benefits of green buildings, namely water-use efficiency and reduced embodied carbon in building materials.
Unlike most certification systems, IFC’s EDGE incorporates these parameters, and ways to quantify them, into its definition of a green building, which requires a minimum of 20 percent greater water and energy efficiency, and 20 percent less embodied energy in building materials compared to a local business-as-usual benchmark.
IFC is leading discussions with other multilateral development banks to agree on a common definition of green buildings.
Author: Green Buildings | A Finance and Policy Blueprint (https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/topics_ext_content/ifc_external_corporate_site/climate+business/resources/green+buildings+report)