Prashant Kapoor, IFC/World Bank: Making sense of sustainable finance

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Prashant Kapoor, IFC/World Bank: Making sense of sustainable finance
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Prashant Kapoor, IFC/World Bank: Making sense of sustainable finance

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Prashant Kapoor, IFC/World Bank: Making sense of sustainable finance
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We are seeing today a newfound interest in sustainable finance. Words like Green bonds and Green mortgages are increasingly common. But what do they actually mean?

Here to clarify how the design-construction and financial sectors can collectively agree on what truly matters is Prashant Kapoor. He is the Chief Industry Specialist for Green Buildings and Climate-Smart Cities at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank.

Prashant is the force behind IFC’s building certification tool, EDGE, which has quickly become an instrument of communication between developers and consultants, investors and project teams, particularly in the developing world.

Episode outline

00:09:27 EDGE: a ground-breaking certification tool
00:16:07 “EDGE is very well focused on passive design, you know, so essentially you can actually build a totally naturally-ventilated building and get certified for it. You can’t do that with some of the certifications because of indoor environmental quality issues or some other issues so this is allowed.”
00:17:51 “We don’t force people to only use passive. I mean, you know, if a developer or a designer wants to build a glass box and condition it, you can still make the glass better, and the air conditioning better, and get some of the credits.”
00:18:30 Linking green certification to sustainable finance
00:21:29 “I’m representing emerging markets because (here) energy savings do matter. Our research suggests that 15% to 20% of a family’s income — disposable income — goes into utility bills.”
00:31:24 “Urban planning is not done far enough and rigorous enough. Municipal workers are not equipped… They’re not able to get all the technical support they need.”
00:34:20 “If we talk about too high (a) level of climate change, you quickly get the mayors possibly interested because they have to face the world. But the people on the ground really can’t relate to this… They have real issues of potholes, and public transport, and waste being dumped on their streets, right?”
00:35:44 What is sustainable finance?
00:35:56 “Sustainable finance is a subset of traditional financing and investment that seeks to finance projects that are sustainable or green, as simple as that.”
00:41:38 “Architects (need to) get a little bit more comfortable with numbers. I think they generally do care about their buildings and the future of the world.”
00:43:48 “Ask your engineer: I want the building that can last without air conditioning, or any artificial energy… You (will) get a very different building.”
00:44:36 Becoming Prashant
00:46:48 “The biggest strength that we all have, I mean, as architects is being able to take the many variables and bring something creative and unique to the world.”
00:50:06 “(I am in) this quasi world of engineering: numbers and urban planning in the same breath!”
00:54:55 “We are beginning to see pension funds saying ‘no’ to investing in fossil fuels. We are seeing more regulatory changes. It’s happening. The question is, can we make it in time?”

We are currently finishing this episode transcript. It will be made available here very soon.

Summary

In this episode, Prashant Kapoor discusses various instruments of finance, as these apply to sustainable development. Here, he positions building performance as a long-term asset, against which lenders offer loans.

To facilitate a conversation between stakeholders in the design-construction and financial sectors, Prashant has created a certification tool, EDGE — Excellence and Design for Greater Efficiencies — which estimates both performance and cost of different strategies and solutions, early in the design process.

Gerardo Arango S.J. Building is a resource-efficient university building in Bogota, Colombia, that successfully incorporates daylight and photoelectric sensors.
© EDGE Buildings

Prashant unpacks how EDGE works as an online tool and how, in projects across the world, it has created a shared space for developers and investors who seek to work with each other.

The Layan Green Park Hotel in Phuket, Thailand, has 53% energy savings, 21% water savings and 28% less embodied energy in its use of building materials.
© EDGE Buildings

EDGE is particularly useful in the developing world where low-cost solutions are needed. It allows decision-makers to compare technologies versus strategies, such as natural ventilation, which have the lower impact on the environment.

Ecoloft apartments in Cikarang, Indonesia, achieve over 80% energy savings due to a mix of passive and active modes, plus a reliance on solar technologies.
© EDGE Buildings

The drivers that led to EDGE are explained by Prashant. He adds that the same ideas are now leading to the formation of a new tool for the city, APEX.

Buildings form communities, communities make up cities. DeZicht by Balwin is a residential development in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.
© EDGE Buildings

From early experiences in architecture school to a stint working in an earthquake-struck village, Prashant traces his journey from architect to sustainability expert to someone uniquely placed between the worlds of design and finance.

Gallery

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Episode Notes

Keep reading if you want to deep dive into this interview’s content and get more out of it. You can also find out more about this episode’s guest/s and sponsor/s, and the team that put it all together.

This episode is brought to you by:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The Holcim Foundation helps drive systemic change towards a more sustainable built environment. It was founded in 2003 to define and promote the key principles of sustainability for the construction sector and is committed to accelerating the sector’s transformation so that people and the planet can thrive.

The Foundation has investigated various aspects of sustainable construction via a series of roundtables and conferences with international experts. It has also recognised excellent contributions to this field with the Holcim Awards which are considered the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

Committed to a holistic approach that recognises the equal importance and interdependence of four key goals, the Foundation combines the collective knowledge, ideas, and solutions of our global community of experts with our recognised platform of international competitions to democratise thought leadership for the entire sector.

Today, the Holcim Foundation is proud to accompany Ecogradia’s new podcast and its host, Nirmal Kishnani, with whom we share a common goal: contribute to a just, equitable, and sustainable future via sustainable construction and design.

W  |  holcimfoundation.org

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

This episode is brought to you by:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The Holcim Foundation helps drive systemic change towards a more sustainable built environment. It was founded in 2003 to define and promote the key principles of sustainability for the construction sector and is committed to accelerating the sector’s transformation so that people and the planet can thrive.

The Foundation has investigated various aspects of sustainable construction via a series of roundtables and conferences with international experts. It has also recognised excellent contributions to this field with the Holcim Awards which are considered the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

Committed to a holistic approach that recognises the equal importance and interdependence of four key goals, the Foundation combines the collective knowledge, ideas, and solutions of our global community of experts with our recognised platform of international competitions to democratise thought leadership for the entire sector.

Today, the Holcim Foundation is proud to accompany Ecogradia’s new podcast and its host, Nirmal Kishnani, with whom we share a common goal: contribute to a just, equitable, and sustainable future via sustainable construction and design.

W  |  holcimfoundation.org

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

As mentioned in this episode

If you heard it in this episode, we likely have a link for it right here. Click on any topics, people, buildings, places, products and/or technologies listed below to learn more about each of them.

00:06:50 “…created this to the Bretton Woods sort of system…”
Creation of the Bretton Woods System” | Federal Reserve History
00:09:53 “…different from the conventional green certification tool…”
Green Building Standards And Certification Systems” | Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG)
00:14:04 “…obligation to do a post-occupancy evaluation…”
Post Occupancy Evaluations” | Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG)
00:15:33 “…is passive design prioritised…”
What are Passive Design Strategies?” | Rethinking The Future (RTF)
00:16:34 “…percentage discomfort is how you measure comfort…”
Thermal Comfort” | Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
00:27:56 “…China has a three-star rating system…”
The Unique Role of EDGE Within China’s Three-Star System” | EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies)
00:48:31 “…this earthquake happened in 1993…”
Maharashtra’s deadliest earthquake: Some facts you must know about the Latur earthquake” | India Today
00:06:17 “…you now work for the International Finance Corporation…”
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
00:06:37 “…actually part of the World Bank Group…”
The World Bank
00:27:03 “…working with banks, such as OCBC, which is an Indonesian bank too…”
OCBC Bank (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation)
00:27:22 “…the same with HDFC in India and other banks…”
HDFC Bank (Housing Development Finance Corporation)
00:29:04 “…you know the Green Building Council is active there…”
World Green Building Council (WorldGBC)
00:29:08 “…there is local TERI system called GRIHA there…”
TERI – Mission and Goals” | TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute)
00:29:44 “…so we funded Aadhar Bank which belongs to…”
Aadhar Housing Finance Limited (Aadhar)
00:29:46 “…which belongs to Blackstone now…”
Blackstone
00:43:15 “…I was working on a project in Abu Dhabi with Foster’s architects…”
Foster + Partners
00:44:03 “…his name Stephan Becker…”
Stephan Becker” | Gardiner & Theobald
00:02:28 “…now it’s called Chennai…”
Chennai” (Karnataka, India) | Britannica
00:02:56 “…a place called Mangalore to do my architecture there…”
Mangaluru” (Karnataka, India) | Britannica
00:43:15 “…I was working on a project in Abu Dhabi…”
Abu Dhabi” (Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) | Britannica
00:48:47 “…in the central Maharashtra and southern central India…”
Maharashtra” (India) | Britannica
00:49:03 “…a village called Chalburga…”
Chalburga” (Maharashtra, India) | Indian Village Directory

There are no design features mentioned in this episode.

00:09:36 “…you introduced a green certification tool called EDGE …”
EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies)
00:13:13 “…AutoCAD drawings or specifications…”
AutoCAD: 2D and 3D CAD software trusted by millions to draft, engineer, and automate designs anywhere, anytime” | Autodesk
00:29:07 “…there is LEED there…”
LEED rating system” | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
00:29:08 “…there is local TERI system called GRIHA there…”
Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA)
00:33:16 “…we’ve developed a tool called APEX…”
APEX (An Investment Planning App for Cities)
00:36:34 “…a green bond is a financial instrument…”
Green Bonds” | International Finance Corporation (IFC)
00:37:45 “…I might have hinted at, kind of, green mortgages…”
What are green mortgages & how will they revolutionise home energy efficiency?” | World Green Building Council (WorldGBC)
00:49:55 “…have biogas being generated…”
Fact Sheet | Biogas: Converting Waste to Energy” | Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
00:49:57 “…have some small windmills to kind of keep that thing going…”
windmill” | Britannica
00:50:02 “…build nice soil digesters…”
Types of Anaerobic Digesters” | United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Host
Nirmal Kishnani

Producer
Maxime Flores

Editorial assistants
Amulya Dhulipala
Ann Mathew

Sound technician & Editor
Kelvin Brown  |  Phlogiston

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