2020 year in review

Dror Karni

Throughout 2020, GBCI continued to deliver the EDGE program as a critical entry-level complement to LEED to support project teams in regions with emerging green building markets. EDGE is a green building certification system focused on making buildings more resource efficient. An innovation of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the program enables design teams and project owners to assess the most cost-effective ways to incorporate energy and water-saving measures into their buildings. GBCI administers EDGE certification in over 160 countries.

The availability of high-quality green building certification tools across all global markets is critical to mass market transformation, particularly for residential buildings. EDGE is one way that GBCI seeks to impact the residential market, and GBCI’s ongoing strategic partnership with the IFC is helping ensure that we bring green building certification to all residential spaces.

2020 project certification

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, this was a landmark year for EDGE as we saw the first projects register in a host of new countries, including Pakistan, Bulgaria, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Paraguay, Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cameroon, Timor-Leste, Philippines, Malawi, and Morocco. To date, GBCI has registered and certified EDGE projects in 37 countries.

GBCI issued a total of 172 Preliminary and Final certificates in 2020. To date, GBCI has issued 351 Preliminary and Final certificates globally.

In 2020, GBCI has achieved the following milestones for EDGE:

  • Issued 351 Preliminary and Final certificates globally,
  • Registered 10.16 million square meters of floor area,
  • Certified 3.63 million square meters of floor area, and
  • Registered 93,379 and certified 20,475 homes.

GBCI’s EDGE-certified projects make a huge impact on carbon reduction and people’s lives. Collectively these projects are delivering carbon savings of 57,622 tCO2/year, energy savings of 114,520 MWh/year, water savings of 4.47 million m3/year and embodied energy in materials savings of 6.4 million GJ.

Some of the outstanding EDGE certified projects and portfolios in 2020 include:

  • Mexico-based developer Vinte completed the EDGE certification of their 2019 portfolio of nearly 4,000 homes, which will save 2,408 tons of CO₂ from entering the atmosphere each year.
  • IMSS Hospital Emergente COVID-19 is a new 40-bed hospital in Puebla, Mexico that was built in response to the pandemic. The hospital was built in only six weeks by using an innovative, prefabricated construction system that used 66% less embodied energy in materials than a typical hospital.
  • Cosmos Yopougon is the first world-class shopping center to be built in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and will save 507 tCO2 of carbon per Year.
  • Senderos del Comendador is the first EDGE-certified project in Guatemala. Developer Milésimo designed the community’s 158 homes to conserve natural resources, helping residents save on utility costs.
  • WINGS, from developer Stadium Green, is a new 220-unit residential development in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Residents will enjoy the community’s numerous features which are designed to help them connect to the local environment, including panoramic views, green spaces, an urban garden, patios, electric car charging stations and bicycle parking.
  • EDGE Champion Paladin Realty Partners, LLC was awarded a Preliminary EDGE Certificate for You Collection Alves Guimarães in São Paulo, Brazil. The residential building was designed to conserve natural resources through the use of energy-saving lighting, external shading devices, dual-flush water closets, low-flow plumbing fixtures and more.
  • Superseis Supermercados, the leading supermarket chain in Paraguay, achieved the first EDGE certification project in the country for its Japón store is.

EDGE community

The impact of these projects wouldn’t be possible with the support of our outstanding network of EDGE Experts and Auditors. EDGE Experts are professionals who help developers, owners and larger project teams understand the EDGE standard, software and certification system. EDGE Auditors assess whether a building meets the requirements of the EDGE standard by investigation and evaluation of objective evidence.

2020 saw the addition of 147 new GBCI-trained EDGE Experts and 19 new Auditors. GBCI has now trained nearly 800 EDGE Experts and Auditors, globally.

EDGE education

GBCI also continues to offer online and in-person educational courses to expand this growing network of trained professionals, including:

  • Introduction to EDGE, available online in English and Spanish, which provides an overview of the EDGE certification program and the professional and business opportunities that EDGE offers, including the basics of how to earn an EDGE Expert credential and how to become a GBCI EDGE Auditor.
  • EDGE Technical Workshop for EDGE Expert candidates, project teams and consultants. The workshop prepares EDGE Expert candidates to take the EDGE Exam and covers the basics of EDGE, the certification process and how to use the EDGE software.

Throughout 2020, GBCI hosted 11 in-person and virtual events including our first Arabic language training, and our first trainings in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Jordan. In total, more than 1,700 professionals received EDGE training from GBCI in 2020 and are now positioned to help expand the impact of EDGE certified projects globally.

The mass market transformation of our buildings around the world will require widespread participation and collaboration. When GBCI partnered with IFC in 2015, we had a vision of a sustainable future for all and focused our investment in EDGE on helping to jumpstart the market transformation to green buildings in developing countries across the world. We know that the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation are felt most by vulnerable communities, particularly in the global south, and are pleased to continue to partner with IFC to bring the benefits of EDGE to vulnerable communities around the world.

Through GBCI’s commitment to partnership with IFC and our deepening engagement in emerging markets, we are closer to achieving our longstanding goal of green buildings for all within a generation. And thanks to a global network of EDGE Experts and Auditors implementing these strategies on the ground, hundreds of thousands of people in these markets now have the opportunity to live, work and play in a sustainable space.

We are extremely proud of this work and look forward to the continued expansion of the EDGE program in 2021.