Every month we introduce you to one of our partners around the world. Ready to learn about all the incredible work happening in the green building space? Let’s dive in!
We sat down with Ruchi Gandhi, Principal Analyst at Savvy Greens Consultants, to learn more about the green building market in India. Savvy Greens is part of Savvy Group, which was founded and is headed by Sameer Sinha.
As the country with the second highest population globally, India has a powerful role to play in demonstrating leadership in all areas pertaining to growth and development. Urbanisation and economic growth has had a large and negative impact on our natural environment and has brought the 3Ps: people, planet and profit under immense stress. The building sector in India is thriving and contributing immensely towards our country’s economic growth and is thus one of the key areas which can influence a green economy. Realising the country’s role towards a sustainable future, India has committed to reducing emissions by 33-35 per cent, increasing non-fossil based power capacity and reducing carbon by almost three billion tonnes by 2030.
India also ranks second after the USA with reference to the number of green technology projects and built- up area. The country’s opportunity towards green buildings is expected to double within the next few years and is estimated to reach up to 10 billion sq.ft. by early as 2022 at a valuation between US$ 35 Bn to US$ 50 Bn.
Considering that more than 70% of the buildings that will exist in India in 2030 are yet to be constructed, hence a greater awareness towards sustainable construction, government policies and subsidies in this respect can improve natural resource efficiencies, decrease carbon emissions and promote human health and wellness. The growth in the green buildings sector would also in turn fuel other economic activities resulting in overall financial development in the country while maintaining the environment.
The state of Gujarat has been a pioneer in the field of development and adoption of green building in India. Embracing sustainability is considered as a key driver for overall business development. In order to promote the concept of green buildings the government has also undertaken various incentive schemes related to this concept. As the perils of climate change start impacting normal life, the demand for green buildings would continue growing. With an increase of awareness towards green buildings amongst common citizens, the demand from the buyer’s side will force the developers to adopt the concept of green construction. The government will also start imposing stricter policies towards promoting the reduction of the negative impact of construction on the environment thus further motivating the real estate developers to go green.
All green building rating systems are voluntary. Until we mandate energy efficiency (as has been implemented in certain countries) green building will take a back seat. There are several myths surrounding green building being an expensive and financially unachievable option thus dissuading the builders to a certain extent from adopting the concept of green construction. The awareness among the general people regarding the benefits of green building is low, which also affects the demand. There have been improvements in this topic in recent years but still there is a lot of scope of improvement. Another factor holding back green building adoption in India is lack of skilled experts and manpower.
Decarbonizing business is achievable but daunting considering the scale at which it needs to be implemented. This increases the importance of EDGE certification in the attempt to move towards a greener world. As EDGE is an online software and brings the international repute from IFC and World Bank, it creates a strong incentive for developers to associate with this certification. The EDGE App can also be of great help to the developers at the planning and design stage to know the expected savings in energy, water, materials and other resources. Developers can compare different materials to ascertain their percent savings and gain more information to be able to plan their projects better.
To have an international green certification for their building is a matter of pride for the local developers. With gradual awareness towards importance of sustainability increasing in Gujarat, developers are showing keenness in promoting resource-efficient savings. It improves their ability to market and show international standing. EDGE unlocks collaboration and provides a new paradigm for the future.
Considering the potential impact of climate risks across the globe, there is an immediate and inherent need to protect the environment and build resilience. As a sustainability consultant it is essential to align with the climate goals chalked out and associate with different certification bodies so that our clients can choose and obtain the most suitable certification for their building. EDGE is a key global certification and helps us proliferate the concept of sustainability across boundaries with our clients.
We have worked with many developers from local players to globally recognised organisations such as IndoSpace, Venus Infrastructure, A shridhar, Meraki Realty, and Arista Logispace. In our journey towards a sustainable future we have aided in certifying over 110 warehouses and 10 commercial spaces. The certified projects have helped clients reduce business operating costs. The certified buildings have been able to reap benefits doled out by the government such as securing green loans at lower interest rates from financial institutions/banks for their projects. The EDGE certification has also helped clients in the promotion and sales of their commercial space.
We work towards propagating the concept of sustainability and are the flag bearers for spreading the word on the benefits and impact of green building technology in the many varied construction categories – from residential, commercial, industrial to other specific categories such as schools, places of worship and other infrastructural sectors. We are involved in the following activities:
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