A first-of-its-kind, voluntary, private sector-led initiative, the Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium (SHLC) is working towards mainstreaming green homes in India. The aim is for at least 20% 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 program supported by the European Union. Led by the private sector, founding members of the consortium include leading real-estate developers Godrej Properties Limited, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Limited, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, Tata Housing Development Company Limited and VBHC Value Homes Private Limited, joined by the 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.
“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,” said Friederike Tschampa, Charge d’Affaires a.i., Delegation of the European Union to India. “The Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium (SHLC), 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.”
Today, the real-estate sector is responsible for 24 percent 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 percent of raw material use. The United Nations predicts a 40 percent 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 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 percent of its new housing portfolio green, thus contributing 110 million square feet of green housing by 2020. In addition, supported by the MHUA, it strives to create an enabling environment which will catalyze 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 realization of SHLC’s vision of 20% 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, 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 percent to 35 percent 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 incentivize green home developers and buyers alike. Finally, it is launching a massive multimedia awareness campaign to reach 7 million people, galvanizing 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,” said 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.”