A first-of-its-kind, voluntary, private sector-led initiative, the Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium (SHLC), has launched a ‘greenhomes’ campaign that will work 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 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 liters of water annually. Yet, two-thirds of India’s built infrastructure still lies in the future. The government 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.
The SHLC has said that it is committed to making 100 per cent of its new housing portfolio green, thus, contributing 110 million sq ft of green housing by 2020. 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 liters in water savings. It would also reduce India’s carbon footprint by approximately 0.2 million metric tons of CO2.
Underscoring the importance of the SHLC, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, joint secretary (housing), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MHUA), said: “The MHUA is aligning its efforts, to work towards the development of green homes in India, by joining the SHLC. Our joint vision is one of safe, healthy and resource-efficient housing for all our citizens that also helps India keep its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 33 per cent by 2030, as part of the national pledge on combating climate change.”
According to Pirojsha Godrej, executive chairman, Godrej Properties Limited, “The SHLC 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.”
To achieve its aims, a key focus for the SHLC, will be identifying scalable and efficient technology that brings down the costs of going green. The SHLC will also working closely with the government, to create a supportive policy environment. It will also examine global best practices, to recommend 2-3 strategic actions that could incentivise green home developers and buyers alike. Finally, it plans to launch a massive multimedia awareness campaign to reach seven million people, galvanising public opinion on green homes.
“Affordable and sustainable homes are a key part of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC’s) strategy in India. We invest and advise housing finance companies and developers and have also helped leading private-sector banks, to issue green bonds to finance green homes,” said Jun Zhang, country head, IFC, India. “Through this 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 that we can build a more sustainable and greener India,” Zhang added.
The SHLC was launched in 2016, convened by the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group), under the Eco-Cities program supported by the European Union. Led by the private sector, founding members of the consortium include Godrej Properties Limited, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Limited, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, Tata Housing Development Company Limited and VBHC Value Homes Private Limited, joined by financial institutions HDFC Limited and PNB Housing Finance Corporation. SHLC also has the support and participation of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MHUA), government of India.