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GBCI, thinkstep/SGS to provide certification for IFC's EDGE green building system
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By Brianna Crandall, September 30, 2015—International Finance Corporation (IFC), a global development institution and member of the World Bank Group, is joining forces with worldwide certification providers Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and thinkstep in partnership with SGS to take IFC's EDGE green building program to scale in nearly 100 emerging market countries.

The certification providers will help mainstream resource-efficient building construction in emerging markets and mitigate climate change. The announcement was made as part of the World Green Building Council's World Green Building Week, an interactive forum to promote the role that buildings play in a sustainable future.

An innovation of IFC, Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) is a green building certification system for new residential and commercial buildings that enables design teams and project owners to assess the simplest and most cost-effective ways to incorporate energy and water saving options in their buildings.

GBCI and thinkstep/SGS will stimulate demand, drive certification uptake and train independent auditors to engage with clients, assessing their work before rewarding projects with EDGE certification. GBCI and SGS currently serve as local certification providers for EDGE in India and Vietnam respectively, which has helped them prepare for global readiness.

"The mass market transformation of the global built environment will require widespread participation and cooperation," said Mahesh Ramanujam, COO of the U.S. Green Building Council and president of GBCI. "EDGE helps us achieve our longstanding goal of green buildings for all within a generation. EDGE helps project teams by providing financially attractive measures for their new construction projects and allows them to upgrade to more comprehensive green building practices. GBCI is ready to bring our experience, technical capabilities and resources to accelerate and scale EDGE projects around the world."

IFC's aim is to transform 20 percent of the construction market in rapidly industrializing countries with the support of governments, financial institutions and industry associations, led by green building councils who serve as national certification providers in such countries as Costa Rica and Indonesia. Resource-efficient buildings can significantly benefit the poor, as utility bills can absorb as much as 30 percent of a homeowner's income in developing countries, points out IFC.

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