The nation’s leading mortgage provider, Ghana Home Loans has pledged to play a leading role in pioneering the implementation of EDGE certification in the local construction industry.
The mortgage specialist intends to use its strong relationships with real estate developers to encourage the use of environmentally friendly methods in the process of home building.
This intention has been captured in a partnership agreement between Ghana Home Loans and IFC signed on 4th October 2017, at a short ceremony held at the IFC office in Accra.
The signing event was attended by officers from IFC, a team from Ghana Home Loans, and a representative of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Switzerland Embassy.
SECO is a major donor to the EDGE program in Ghana and throughout the world. Also in attendance were the Ghana Green Building Council and the consortium of thinkstep-SGS, which is the certification provider for EDGE in Ghana.
Ghana Home Loans and IFC have decided to collaborate in the recognition of their shared aspirations to move the building construction industry to a lower carbon, more resource-efficient path. Through the partnership, the entities will also work together to promote sustainable design practices in Ghana.
This will include Ghana Home Loans recommending their customers and clients to consider EDGE certification to increase the value of their green properties.
An innovation of IFC, EDGE (“Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies”) has been created to respond to the need for a measurable solution to prove the financial case for building green and help jumpstart the proliferation of green buildings.
EDGE includes complimentary software to empower building professionals to quickly and easily determine the most cost-effective ways to build green based on occupant behavior, building type and the local climate.
Signing on behalf of Ghana Home Loans, Kojo Addo-Kufuor, Chief Operating Officer, reiterated that the company remains committed to supporting innovations that drive sustainability in the local construction industry.
He stated that “EDGE gives true and tangible meaning to environmentally friendly construction. Ghana Home Loans is pleased to be able to play a leading role in this process and shall proactively bring this exciting tool to our partners directly involved in home building.”
Mr. Addo-Kufuor also hinted that a logical next step would be the issuance of Green Bonds to provide competitive financing to developers who deploy environmentally friendly methods in their construction processes.
“Ghana Home Loans is setting an example for others to follow in being the first to express their commitment to EDGE and encouraging green building growth,” said Prashant Kapoor, IFC’s Principal Green Building Specialist and Inventor of EDGE.
“With the support of the financial sector and pioneers such as Ghana Home Loans who have embraced EDGE, together we can transform the future built environment in Ghana,” he added.
IFC’s aim is to transform 20 percent of the construction market in rapidly industrializing countries with the support of industry leaders, governments and financial institutions.
Resource-efficient buildings provide a tangible value that can be passed from property developers to their customers through utility savings. Green buildings also have less negative impact on the environment and reinforce a more sustainable corporate brand.
They also enable homebuyers to make a difference through choosing green homes for their families, which have the potential for higher re-sale values.
IFC has a green building investment portfolio of more than $3 billion, which includes its own direct investments and mobilized financing.
Complementing its investment work, IFC advises governments on green building regulations in Bangladesh, Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Panama, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Ghana Home Loans
Ghana Home Loans is a home finance institution which operates under Bank of Ghana supervision as a non-bank financial institution.
At present, the company is the largest provider of residential mortgage products in Ghana.
The Company is majority owned by the Abraaj Group, a global private equity institution with over $10 billion of assets under management.
The International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank Group, and the U.S. government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation have provided long term financing to Ghana Home Loans.
Since its inception in 2006, Ghana Home Loans has disbursed mortgages in excess of $160 million through its financing products which include Home Purchase Mortgages, Home Equity Mortgages, Home Completion Mortgages and Home Construction Mortgages.
The Company recently received a universal banking license from the Bank of Ghana and should commence operations by the end of 2017.