A first-of-its-kind, voluntary, private sector-led initiative, the Sustainable Housing LeadershipConsortium (SHLC), is working towards mainstreaming green homes in India. The aim is for at least 20 per cent of India’s new housing developments to be green by 2022.
The Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium (SHLC) was launched in 2016, convened by the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group) under the Eco-Cities programme supported by the European Union. Led by the private sector, founding members of the consortium include leading real-estate developers Godrej Properties, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, Tata Housing Development Companyand VBHC Value Homes, joined by the financial institutions HDFC and PNB Housing Finance Corporation. SHLC also has the support and participation of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MHUA), Government of India.
“The European Union is committed to supporting the sustainable development of cities, with a particular focus on climate-change mitigation and adaptation, and energy-efficiency. India and the EU have identified these areas as key elements of their strategic partnership,” says Friederike Tschampa, Charge d’Affaires ai, Delegation of the European Union to India. “The Sustainable HousingLeadership Consortium, as a first-of-its-kind, private sector-led initiative, aligns with our programme objectives. We support this effort and look forward to its impact in mainstreaming green in India and its contribution to energy and climate targets for 2020 and 2030.”
Today, the real-estate sector is responsible for 24 per cent of India’s annual CO2 emissions, contributing to global warming and poor air quality. The UNEP Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative estimates that the built environment is responsible for 30 per cent of raw material use. The United Nations predicts a 40 per cent global shortfall in water supply by 2030, by which time Indian homes will need 74 trillion litres of water annually. Yet, two-thirds of India’s built infrastructure still lies in the future. The Government of India’s mission of ‘Housing for All by 2022’ also points to this being a critical time to impact the footprint of the housing industry. Urban India will need approximately another 2.4 million homes to be built by 2020, which creates a massive opportunity for change.
Responding to this need, SHLC is collectively committed to making 100 per cent of its new housing portfolio green, thus contributing 110 million sq ft of green housing by 2020. In addition, supported by the MHUA, it strives to create an enabling environment which will catalyse the transformation of the entire real-estate sector so that green buildings become the mainstream choice, the default in our built eco-systems.
For the citizens of India, the realisation of SHLC’s vision of 20 per cent of new homes in India being green homes translates into an estimated saving of 198 million kWh per year (which could potentially power over 1 lakh additional households) and 108 billion litres in water savings. It would also reduce India’s carbon footprint by approximately 0.2 million metric tonne of CO2, helping us progress towards the national goal of becoming a burgeoning low-carbon economy. (India has pledged in October 2015 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference to cut its carbon emissions by 33 per cent to 35 per cent by 2030.)
To achieve its aims, a key focus for SHLC is identifying scalable, efficient technology that brings down the costs of going green. SHLC is also working closely with the government to create a supportive policy environment – it is currently examining global best practices to recommend 2-3 strategic actions that could incentivise green home developers and buyers alike. Finally, it is launching a massive multimedia awareness campaign to reach 7 million people, galvanising public opinion on green homes.
“Affordable and sustainable homes is a key part of IFC’s strategy in India. We invest and advise housing finance companies, developers, and have also helped leading private-sector banks to issue green bonds to finance green homes,” says Jun Zhang, Country Head, IFC, India. “Through this first-of-its-kind multi-stakeholder consortium, we are trying to identify private-sector solutions for greener homes. Given the scale of the challenge, we want to influence the ecosystem so we can build a more sustainable and greener India.”
“The European Union is committed to supporting the sustainable development of cities, with a particular focus on climate-change mitigation and adaptation, and energy efficiency. India and the EU have identified these areas as key elements of their strategic partnership. The Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium, as a first-of-its-kind, private sector-led initiative, aligns with our program objectives. We support this effort and look forward to its impact in mainstreaming green in India and its contribution to energy and climate targets for 2020 and 2030,” says Friederike Tschampa, Charge d’Affaires ai, Delegation of the European Union to India.
“Affordable and sustainable homes is a key part of IFC’s strategy in India. We invest and advise housing finance companies, developers, and have also helped leading private-sector banks to issue green bonds to finance green homes. Through this first-of-its-kind multi-stakeholder consortium, we are trying to identify private-sector solutions for greener homes. Given the scale of the challenge, we want to influence the ecosystem so we can build a more sustainable and greener India,” says Jun Zhang, Country Head, IFC India.
“The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is aligning its efforts to work towards the development of green homes in India by joining the Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium. Our joint vision is one of safe, healthy, resource-efficient housing for all our citizens that also helps India keep its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 33 per cent in 2030 as part of the national pledge on combating climate change,” says Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Joint Secretary (Housing), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
“Godrej Properties is deeply committed to the cause of sustainability in real-estate development. The Sustainable HousingLeadership Consortium will provide a platform for like-minded organisations to come together to share and implement ideas that will bring a huge change to the quality of India's built environment. We look forward to learning from and contributing to SHLC's important efforts,” says Pirojsha Godrej, Executive Chairman, Godrej Properties.
“As pioneers in sustainable development in the urban context of India, we at Mahindra Lifespaces believe that public awareness and knowledge sharing are key to the mass adoption of green homes across the country. The Sustainable Housing LeadershipConsortium will leverage a strategic combination of mass media platforms to engage and connect with the larger housing ecosystem, including home buyers, policy makers and the public at large,” says Anita Arjundas, Managing Director, Mahindra Lifespace Developers.
“We are happy to join hands with SHLC to drive sustainability in India’s housing market with a particular focus on the green building.Housing finance institutions play an important role in assisting the transition to green buildings by providing finance to developers or by providing loans to end customers. PNB Housing is the first housing finance company to successfully issue green bonds and has already disbursed Rs 650 crore to fund green residential projects. This has boosted our confidence that there is indeed a need for a pipeline to get funds for green development. We have enough confidence that the efforts of SHLC on the fronts of policy, materials and technology optimisation for green buildings will widen the scope and expand the market,” says Sanjaya Gupta, Managing Director, PNB Housing Finance Corporation.
“We at Shapoorji Pallonji have joined the Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium because we firmly believe in our responsibility towards the environment. With our collective legacy and experience in the development and construction domain, we not only would like to play the part of a responsible developer but also lead and act as a catalyst to the sector as a whole,” says Venkatesh Gopalkrishnan, CEO, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate.
“The only way to increase adoption of sustainable buildings is through standardisation of a code. The code should set out the trajectory and stretching targets for a zero-carbon, sustainable built environment — including carbon, energy, waste and water performance. This will require collaborative working, both across the industry and in partnership with the government. To this end, SHLC is working closely in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to optimise the policy environment by developing 2-3 strategic recommendations to incentivise green homes,” says Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Housing Development Company.
“VBHC had the distinction of being the first project in Asia to be green-certified in the affordable housing segment. With this experience, we expect that SHLC will be able to use its learning to lend impetus to the affordable housing sector as well, which is in alignment with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Housing for All by 2022’,” says Rahul Sabharwal, COO, VBHC Value Homes.
“IFC and HDFC Limited both strongly believe in the immense opportunities in the affordable housing space in India. HDFC is delighted to be a part of the Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium’s initiative to incentivise green homes in India. We look forward to seeing our own portfolios grow greener, as both developers and homeowners reach out to us for financing support. This in turn will help India lower its carbon footprint,” says Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director, HDFC.