Philippines – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, recently called on the building and property sector to unlock more investments for green buildings to mitigate climate impact in the Philippines. While IFC sees a $3.4 trillion green buildings investment opportunity in key emerging markets by 2025, in the Philippines, investment opportunities for low-carbon buildings are likely to be around $2 billion by 2020.
Studies have shown that buildings accounted for 36 percent of the Philippines’ total annual power consumption, and emitted 33.28 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2010. Now with rapid urban migration it is further estimated that the number of new buildings will increase by 20 percent a year. These statistics provide a compelling argument for a future of green buildings, which incorporate sustainable measures in design and construction of buildings, promoting efficient use of energy, water, and other resources with low carbon footprint.
“With its fast population growth and urbanization, the Philippines urgently need a more sustainable building solution to address the country’s growing infrastructure needs and climate change challenges. The way to deliver on this is to create a vibrant market for green buildings that attract private sector investment. Green buildings should be the new normal for property companies, developers, and investors,” said Yuan Xu, IFC’s Country Manager for the Philippines.
It is estimated that green buildings can achieve as high as 20 to 25 percent of the Philippines market by 2025, with a combination of policy support, tax benefits, educational and awareness programs, and realized savings from energy efficiency.
This year, IFC hosted Green Breakthroughs, an annual knowledge-sharing event that showcases innovations and developments in sustainable and low-carbon buildings and structures. Held in cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine Green Building Initiative and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the forum discussed opportunities for climate financing at a session led by policy makers and leaders of financial institutions. They shared their programs to scale up financing for projects that promote energy efficiency, including green buildings.
Key government and private sector stakeholders such as the local government of Mandaluyong City, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI) presented a report on the important initiatives and progress of the local green building sector.
Through its Green Building Market Transformation Program, IFC has collaborated with the government, businesses and professional organizations to create a market for green buildings by improving the policy environment and setting up voluntary standards. Working with Mandaluyong City, IFC piloted the development of mandatory green building codes that led to the city’s adoption of a green building ordinance.
IFC provided technical advice to the Department of Public Works and Highways in crafting the Philippine Green Building Code. The code is fully implemented across the country and prescribes measures for energy and water efficiency, material sustainability, solid waste management, site sustainability and indoor environmental quality. Subsequently, in 2016, IFC launched its Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies or EDGE voluntary certification system in the Philippines, with PGBI as its certification provider. EDGE helps to determine the most cost-effective options for designing green within a local climate context.