Ganamos con verde: We won with green in Latin america
All across Latin America, LEED projects are on the rise. The region is now home to more than 600 LEED certified projects with more than 1,900 in the pipeline. It seems that no matter where you go it's a universal message that going green helps save some green.
Throughout the region, these LEED certified buildings have established a proven record of successfully marrying strong environmental performance with smart economic investment. The economic and environmental benefits of these projects have not gone unnoticed. Today, international financial institutions around the world are recognizing LEED as a powerful tool to help support and accelerate sustainability.
For instance, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the largest multilateral source of financing for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, is increasingly providing critical financing for green building projects throughout the region, including the first green hotel in Jamaica.
IDB has long been a significant leader in supporting greener design and construction. In 2010, IDB set up a master financing facility of up to $42 million in long-term IDB loans to finance up to eight Marriott-hotels in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexico. And in 2012, IDB showed what it means to lead by example when its two headquarter buildings in Washington, DC, achieved LEED certification. Late last year, the two buildings were even re-certified to LEED Gold!
Last month, I saw firsthand how IDB was making a difference when I traveled to Peru—another Latin American country where, thanks to the good work of the Peru Green Building Council, green building is starting to boom.
I had the honor of participating in a LEED plaque ceremony in Lima for another project that IDB had helped finance, a new classroom facility built by the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL), a fast-growing university serving nearly 20,000 students. USIL had set out on a path to grow more sustainability by ensuring that this new classroom facility achieved LEED Silver certification. The project became the first LEED certified academic building in all of Peru. I remember saying, “Juntos, hagamos un Peru verde [together, let’s make a green Peru].” And it’s leaders like USIL that are helping show the way.
The project was a great accomplishment, becoming one of 15 certified projects in the country. I was extremely proud to be on hand to officially congratulate USIL and all those who helped make it happen, like IDB and the expert team at SUMAC, an international green building firm, which not only helped on this project but also is helping deliver sustainability projects throughout Latin America.
By achieving LEED, the USIL project will save more than 30 percent in energy, reduce carbon emissions, reduce waste and save 40 percent in water. Not to mention, it will also save a lot of money and create other economic benefits, like jobs and new economic investment. And achieving LEED certainly took USIL one step closer toward its ambitious goal of becoming the most sustainable university in Peru. And USIL won’t be waiting long for its next celebratory moment. Right next door, USIL is constructing another classroom building project seeking LEED certification. And, further from the city center, USIL is in the early stages of constructing a satellite campus building that is aiming to achieve LEED Gold certification. IDB has helped provide financing for all three projects.
As USIL has shown and IDB has recognized, green building is one of those unique solutions that simultaneously helps us reduce energy, save resources, conserve water, save money, create jobs, improve health, advance social equity and boost resilience.
Clearly, we win with green.