CAMACOL, Sintali and SGS show that transformation of the built environment at scale is possible with strong partnerships and a commitment to a greener future.
The Colombian Chamber of Construction (CAMACOL) is a national non-profit trade association that brings together companies and individuals related to the construction value chain to boost the competitive development and progress across Colombia. Founded in 1957, CAMACOL now has more than 1,700 affiliates in 19 offices around the country. CAMACOL maintains a strong voice and representation of the construction industry across Colombia, as well as strong institutional capacity.
Local partnerships are essential in helping to build the system required to support the green building market. The Sintali and SGS team have been working with CAMACOL for many years as a local partner to expand the presence of EDGE in Colombia. CAMACOL acts as the sales channel for EDGE, delivering capacity building workshops and trainings for local professionals, banks and governments, as well as promoting and selling EDGE certification within the Colombian construction sector on behalf of Sintali-SGS, while Sintali and SGS deliver the certification and audit services for the Colombian market. CAMACOL, through its line of management in terms of sustainability and climate action, CAMACOL VERDE, supports the transformation of the sector, based on the following axes: sustainable cities, green materials, sustainable certifications, green financing, circular economy and zero carbon
The benefits of the partnership approach
Being at the centre of the Colombian construction industry with local market knowledge and widespread national connections, CAMACOL was the ideal organisation to build a partnership with. The partnership has created a new revenue stream for CAMACOL and the opportunity to expand into new business lines within the green building sector. Through combined advocacy, marketing and business development efforts CAMACOL has been a key player in facilitating green building development in the country.
For Sintali and SGS, this partnership has given us a strong institutional partner to help us grow the EDGE market. Partnering with CAMACOL gives us an extended sales team and the opportunity to better service clients from the ground.
The impact of the partnership at a glance:
|Typologies||Homes, Offices, Hospitality, Retail, Hospitals, Education|
|Preliminary floor space certified||7,939,684 m2|
|Final floor space certified||2,426,896 m2|
|Total carbon savings||79,495 tCO2 per year|
|Total water savings||7,776,150 m3 per year|
|Energy savings||227431 MWH per year|
|Embodied Energy in materials savings||17,733,615 GJ per year|
Taking a systems approach
One of the biggest pillars of this successful partnership has been CAMACOL’s systemic approach to the growth of the green building market. The organisation worked closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), local and national representatives from government, financial institutions, and the professional community of engineers, consultants and architects, to raise awareness and advocate for change.
Following a big lobbying effort, the national government enacted a Green Building Code for residential and commercial developments and introduced tax incentives for technical solutions such as insulation and energy efficiency measures. Raising awareness within banks energized the market for sustainable buildings as banks widening their green finance offerings. Today, five major commercial banks in Colombia offering a range of green finance products creating a market for sustainable developments. This can largely be attributed to the successful advocacy from CAMACOL, who worked with each key players to help transform the construction market.
The partnership has delivered outstanding results and construction sector in Colombia has seen huge success in the past few years towards decarbonisation. Green buildings have accelerated from 0 to 20% of the market in just four years since 2017. With almost 10 million square metres of EDGE certified floor space, 73,000 green homes have been built with two thirds of these affordable housing. Colombia is among the top 20 fastest growing markets in terms of construction spending, so this is a promising start in laying the foundations for a greener future in Colombia.
This is just the beginning of our strong and long-lasting partnership. Despite the green growth of the construction sector in recent years, sustainable buildings have yet to be consolidated as a general practice in all territories. We will continue to support CAMACOL in certifying buildings across the country with EDGE. IFC and CAMACOL with the support of the Ministry of Housing, City and Territory, the National Planning Department, and the Colombia Green Building Council (CCCS), are also joining forces to achieve the creation of incentives that will help push the nation towards total carbon neutrality.
“The construction sector contributes more and more to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change in a consistent manner, leading the transformation of the industry in Colombia. These positive results show an active contribution of the sector to the achievement of the country’s commitments, through sustainable construction guidelines that generate water and energy savings in buildings, but, above all, that generate business capacities for this transformation towards sustainability. as a business. For the building activity, it is important to have an actor who provides greater experience to the process, quantifies and verifies the environmental impact of the strategies implemented in the projects, issues certificates and provides support to companies on the path to zero carbon.”
President of CAMACOL, Guillermo Herrera
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