By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group have begun a partnership towards ensuring a greener building construction industry in Nigeria.
NMRC’s collaboration with IFC’s EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) has already culminated in workshops in Lagos and Abuja where Nigerian building developersÂ converged to discuss the pathway for a greener Nigeria through the construction industry.Â Â
The mortgage refinance institution and IFC, alongsideÂ the consortium of thinkstep-SGS, the certification provider for EDGE in Nigeria, at the workshops, brought to the fore the need for EDGE adoption and implementation.
At the Abuja workshop, which was also attended by local council officials and financial institutions, the NMRC pledged to be a leader in pioneering the implementation of EDGE certification in Nigeria’s construction industry.
NMRCâ€™s Executive Director, Policy, Partnerships and Business Development, Dr. Chii Akporji said: â€œNMRC is proud to partner with IFC to launch and operationalise EDGE in the Nigerian market.
“Through its value chain approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities in the Nigerian housing sector, NMRC looks to collaborating with its member-banks and other stakeholders to catalyse sustainable green buildings in Nigeria, to unlock the benefits of same to the housing industry and to the countryâ€™s GDP.â€
NMRC and IFC are bound by a common aspiration to move the building construction industry to a lower carbon, more resource-efficient path.
EDGE is an innovation of IFC, which helps property developers to build and brand green in a fast, easy and affordable way.
It is supported by free software that encourages solutions to reduce energy, water and the energy used to make building materials by at least 20 per cent, which is the standard for EDGE certification.
The programmeÂ has been generously supported by donors like Austria, Canada, Denmark, ESMAP, EU, Finland, GEF, Hungary, Japan and Switzerland.
Through the partnership,Â NMRC and IFC will work together to promote sustainable design practices in Nigeria, including the NMRC recommending EDGE certification to clients to increase the value of their green properties.
EDGE was created to respond to the need for a measurable solution to prove the financial case for building green and to help jumpstart the proliferation of green buildings.
It includes complementary software to empower building professionals to quickly and easily determine the most cost-effective ways to build green based on occupant behaviour, building type and the local climate.
IFC says Italian aims to transform 20 per cent of the construction market in rapidly industrialising countries with the support of industry leaders, governments and financial institutions.
It is convinced that resource-efficient buildings provide a tangible value that can be passed from property developers to their customers through utility savings. Green buildings also have less negative impact on the environment and reinforce a more sustainable corporate brand.
They also enable homebuyers to make a difference through choosing green homes for their families, which have the potential for higher re-sale values.
IFC Country Manager, Nigeria, Eme Essien Lore, said: â€œGoing green and affordability are not mutually exclusive â€“ both are possible.Â Â We know from our global experience that we do not have to give up one to achieve the other.
“What we need is a way to put buildings onto a greener path with solutions that are sensible in the Nigerian context.Â Â EDGE can help accomplish that.â€
IFC has a green building investment portfolio of over $3 billion, which includes its own direct investments and mobilised financing. Complementing its investment work, IFC advises governments on green building regulations in Bangladesh, Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Panama, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam.
IFC works with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world.
InÂ 2017, IFC delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity.