The Ghana Home Loans (GHL) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help encourage the patronage of green building in the local construction industry.
By signing the agreement, the two entities are expected to collaborate to help move the local building and construction industry into a more resource-efficient path under the IFC’s Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) programme.
A consultant with EDGE Africa Implementation, Mr Dennis Papa Odenyi Quansah, said at the signing last Wednesday, October 4, in Accra that the EDGE initiative was created to respond to the need for a measurable solution to prove the financial case for building green and also help push-start the proliferation of green building.
“EDGE includes complimentary 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.”
He explained that with new technologies constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the benefits of green building could range from environmental, economic and social.
Mr Quansah observed that the green construction methods when integrated during designing of the structure provide most significant benefits rather than integrating into an old structure.
“The green building is an initiative that causes a minimal impact on the environment. Therefore, by adopting greener practices, we can take maximum advantage of the economic benefits derived from such technology.
“With the support of the financial sector and pioneers such as GHL who have embraced EDGE, together we can transform the future of the building industry in Ghana,” he said.
Supporting green innovation
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of GHL, Mr Kojo Addo-Kufuor, said the GHL remained committed to supporting innovations that drive sustainability in the local construction industry.
“EDGE gives true and tangible meaning to environmentally friendly construction. Ghana Home Loans is pleased to be able to play a leading role in this process.”
He explained that a logical next step would be the issuance of green bonds to provide competitive financing to developers who deploy environmentally friendly methods in their construction processes.
“With this partnership, GHL is setting an example for others to follow in being the first to express their commitment to EDGE and encourage green building growth in Ghana,” he said.
Transforming the construction industry
The aim of IFC is to help transform 20 per cent of the construction market in rapidly industrialising countries with the support of the government, industry leaders and financial institutions.
Resource-efficient buildings provide a tangible value that could 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. It also enables homebuyers to make a difference through choosing green homes for their families, which have the potential for higher resale values.
The IFC has a green building investment portfolio of more than US$3 billion, which includes its own direct investments and mobilised financing.
Complementing its investment work, IFC advises most governments on green building regulations in Bangladesh, Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Panama and Vietnam.