Covestro, a leading materials supplier, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have entered into an agreement to share knowledge and promote IFC’s EDGE, a green building software, standard and certification system for emerging markets. Covestro is the first materials supplier to be asked to serve as a champion of EDGE.

Covestro and IFC share a common aspiration: moving the construction industry on to a lower carbon path. Through the agreement, the organizations will work together to accelerate the adoption of resource-efficient building options in developing countries, particularly in the area of low-carbon building materials.

IFC developed EDGE, which stands for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, to make it fast, easy and affordable to build more sustainably in emerging markets by proving the financial viability of resource-efficient building.The EDGE software, which is supplied at no charge, empowers decision makers to determine the most cost-effective technical solutions for reducing the use of energy, water and embodied energy in materials for their building projects. Beneath the EDGE interface are complex data sets and algorithms that factor in the building type, local climate, costs and occupant behavior to design a better building.

Sustainability is a driving focus at Covestro, as demonstrated by its ambitious sustainability targets. By the year 2025, Covestro aims to align 80 percent of its research and development project spend toward meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, the company aspires to contribute to improving the lives of 10 million people in underserved markets, primarily in developing and emerging countries.

“The collaboration with IFC aligns perfectly with our commitment to continuous sustainable development,” said Richard Northcote, Covestro chief sustainability officer. “Resource-efficient building practices have a positive impact on people and our planet. This goes hand-in-hand with our longstanding commitment to developing materials and technologies that promote greater resource efficiency, including products used in building and construction.”

Covestro has a proven track record of successful collaboration in advancing sustainable building solutions. Along with industry partners and local governments, Covestro is pioneering new building models to provide affordable housing solutions in underdeveloped and overpopulated regions of the world. These innovative homes are built using highly insulative polyurethane wall panels made from Covestro materials, enabling fast, inexpensive and energy-efficient construction.

“IFC’s collaboration with Covestro will help empower the private sector in emerging markets to adopt low-carbon construction materials,” said Alzbeta Klein, director and global head for IFC’s climate business. “It unites us in shared thought leadership so that, together, we can amplify the awareness and education of sustainable building practices in emerging markets.”

IFC’s ambition is to transform 20 percent of the construction market in more than 130 industrializing countries with the support of industry leaders, governments and financial institutions. Resource-efficient buildings provide a tangible value that can be passed from the developer to customers in the form of utility savings. They also have less negative impact on the environment and reinforce a more sustainable corporate brand.

IFC has a green building investment portfolio of nearly $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.