PH home to world’s first certified EDGE Zero Carbon real estate portfolio

EDGE design buildings could save up to P38B – IFC

NEO’s real estate portfolio in the Philippines is the first in the world to be certified with the International Finance Corporation’s EDGE Zero Carbon certification.

The retrofit plans for its seven office buildings were verified by EDGE partner SGS-Sintali in October 2021, well ahead of the company’s original goal of net zero by 2030.

EDGE or the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies is an innovation of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and is a green building standard rating system and free online platform designed for emerging markets. It provides the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by differentiating their products and adding value to the lives of their customers.

Under this protocol, companies must verify that their retrofit design meets the minimum 40% operational energy efficiency improvements, as well as prove that the operational energy from the previous year is from renewable sources and/or carbon offsets. A project will undergo final certification once the retrofit is completed within a three-year period.

“NEO’s achievement sets a precedent. Developers with existing buildings should raise their climate ambitions toward improving returns for their investors and increasing the value of their assets while generating positive outcomes for the environment,” said Vivek Pathak, Director and Global Head of Climate Business at IFC.

“We desperately need our businesses to become Net Zero in order to avert a climate catastrophe. By publicly committing to Net Zero then being the first portfolio in the world to achieve EDGE Zero Carbon Certification, we have proven that it is possible even for existing buildings in markets like the Philippines. Regardless of your size, industry, or country – what matters most is that we start on our Net Zero journey as soon as possible,” added Raymond Rufino, CEO of NEO.

“Net zero is far from simple, but it’s realistic and possible. Across any industry, it is important to look at the overall impact of emissions before taking any steps forward. Net zero pledges are achievable by accompanying them with deep management commitment and strategic policy structures. Our existing buildings were not initially designed to be net zero but we were able to achieve the goal for all 7 buildings. If we at NEO can do this, I’m sure all our fellow owners, developers, and managers can also make the commitment and reach net zero“ added Gie Garcia, Managing Director of Property Management, NEO.

NEO’s buildings are projected to have 41-49 percent energy savings procured from the “Cleanergy” portfolio of Aboitiz Power Corporation.