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World Bank Group’s IFC honours 8 EDGE Champions for green building initiatives across Africa

K. Mbae (Centum), L. Cairncross (IFC), M. Stiernblad (U. Homes), A. Watare (Centum), M. Kritzinger (Transcend), Y. Kisaame (SECO), C. Kleynhans (Divercity), S. Benchina (PFO), L. Kumalo (Novare), O. Saberi (IFC), I. Wadvalla (Equites), D. Lekganyane,M. Apablaza (UK Gov)

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, October 20, 2023 / -- • The 8 Champions are property developers, a real estate investment trust (REIT), and property funds from South Africa, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mauritius, with portfolio projects spanning across Africa.
• IFC EDGE certification has the goal of reducing the environmental impact of buildings in three areas: energy, water, and material efficiency.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, honoured 8 African developers from South Africa, Kenya, Cote D’Ivoire and Mauritius, as EDGE Champions last week at the 14th Africa Property Investment Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The awards were given for their industry leading commitments to reduce carbon emissions, and conserve natural resources across their property portfolios.

EDGE is a global green building certification platform, developed by the IFC, that has certified over 63 million square meters globally. Africa’s contribution to this global certification figure is growing with 2 million square meters certified in the last fiscal year, FY23, from July 2022 to June 2023. EDGE Champions are companies from around the world, who collaborate with IFC to accelerate the adoption of green building options in their respective markets. These trailblazers typically pledge to certify a significant portion of their building portfolio, or meet a minimum floor area commitment, to be certified as a green building with EDGE.

Meet Africa’s EDGE Champions.
With combined project portfolios spanning Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, and Zambia, four of the eight African Champions this year are from South Africa (Equites Property Fund Ltd, Transcend Residential Property Fund Ltd, Divercity, and Novare), two are from Kenya (Unity Homes and Centum), and the eighth champion, Lango, is from Mauritius. They have all certified over 200,000square meters or committed over 80% of their portfolio to EDGE certification.

• Equites Property Fund Limited is a South African real estate investment trust (REIT) and market leader in the logistics property market, focused on developing and acquiring A-grade, modern logistics facilities in prime locations in both South Africa and the United Kingdom. Equites Property Fund has certified over 290,000 square meters of its portfolio so far, with a further 320,000 square meters under assessment.

• Divercity is a property developer transforming entire neighbourhoods of former office buildings to affordable urban housing to combat urban sprawl. Its development in inner-city Johannesburg, Jewel City, is redeveloping entire neighbourhoods thanks to its precinct-level approach; the Onyx building is the first EDGE-certified, with more than 200,000 square meters committed for EDGE certification.

• Transcend Residential Property Fund Limited is a specialised residential property fund listed on the AltX Board of the JSE and is in the process of delisting. Most of Transcend's EDGE-certified projects are retrofit certifications, indicating that the homes were built before pursuing the certification. It aims to deliver a superior “green” product through the Design Certification of existing assets with 150,000 square meters of floor area that have been EDGE certified. An additional 35,000 square meters are registered for certification and the balance committed for certification adding up to over 80% of their portfolio.

• Novare is an investment solutions provider, with operations across the African continent. It has committed to EDGE certify all properties in its real estate fund. These include: in Zambia -Standard Chartered House & Great North Mall totalling 26,386 square meters already certified and Pinnacle and Twin Palm Malls at 21,471square meters about to be certified, in Nigeria - Lekki Mall, Gateway Mall, Central Office Park with a total of 50,000 square meters and in Mozambique - Matola Mall at 19,500 square meters will also be certified.

• Unity Homes in Kenya aims to mass-produce investment-grade affordable housing focusing on the community to enhance lives and secure futures. It is currently building family-friendly communities of almost 3,000 units which constitute 1, 2, 3 and 4- bedroom modern homes on 34 acres at the heart of Tatu City, Kenya. Unity Homes has committed to certifying their entire portfolio and has already certified their first two projects in Kenya (about 80,000 square meters).

• Centum RE, the residential real estate investment and development arm of the Centum Group in Kenya, has agreed to commit all their future portfolio to EDGE. They have already certified 130,000 square meters in Kenya. An additional 130,000 square meters is in the pipeline to be certified.

• Lango, a real estate company headquartered in Mauritius, has committed to achieving EDGE certification for 100% of its total portfolio of buildings in key gateway cities across the African continent within a targeted timeframe of 24 months. Lango has already certified two of their buildings in Ghana and the rest in Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia are at various stages of the certification. An additional 110,000 square meters is currently in the pipeline to be certified.

• PFO, a leading real estate developer in Côte d'Ivoire who certified the single largest mixed used building, the tallest office building in the country, Tour F, will also commit their retrofitted projects to EDGE. PFO is the leading developer of state-owned buildings and facilities in Côte d’Ivoire. PFO committed to certify 80% of their portfolio with EDGE in the next five years.

EDGE – Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies – is an online platform, a green building standard and a certification system for more than 150 countries, helping property developers to build and brand green in a fast, easy, and affordable way. It currently dominates the residential green building certification market with more than 90% of certifications in South Africa and 76% market share in all other African countries (Estate Intel Africa’s Green Building – 2022 Fact Sheet).

Sofía Costa Navarro
Gong Communications
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