Public policy support for green buildings?

What public policy support can governments provide for green buildings? Governments may adopt a variety of incentives to stimulate green building growth in local communities, where buildings comprise 40% of energy use. These incentives can positively affect job creation and reduced air pollutions while helping fulfill contributions to sustainability. With more countries setting goals to reduce CO2 emissions and pollution, decisive action must be taken to stimulate green building growth.

Fiscal vs Non-Fiscal Government Incentives

Non-Fiscal Incentives

Non-Fiscal Incentives

  • Public Advocacy
  • Workforce Capability Building
  • National Incentives (i.e. Income of Sales Tax Breaks)
  • Local Government/city Incentives
  • Alternative Compliance with Green Building Codes
  • Regulatory Flexibility or Benefits for Green Buildings (i.e. extra floor allowance)
  • Expediting Permits
  • Technical Assistance
  • National Recognition Programs
  • Green Taxonomy
Fiscal Incentives

Fiscal Incentives

  • Capital Adequacy
  • Prudential Norms (Loan to Value / Income Ratios)
  • Tax breaks
  • Grants and/or Subsidies
  • Permit Fee Discounts

Discover governments incentives.

Discover which governments have already spurred green building growth in emerging markets through incentives. Governments are motivating property developers to certify green. Check out their exact offerings or download the Government Incentives for EDGE chart.

Property Tax Incentive

Offer a lower property tax rate to developers for one or more years to offset the extra costs of building green.

Height Bonus

Allow developers to increase the height of their buildings, either as extra floors or a percentage of total floor area.

Expedited Permitting

Limit the permitting process to a minimum number of days for green construction.

Reduced Permitting

Waive or partially reimburse permit fees for developers who certify their projects green.


Incentivize solutions such as solar power by providing block grants to cities and states. Or grants can go directly to developers to subsidize the cost of certification.

Loan Programs

Set up a loan fund at the central bank level so developers who build green can receive reduced interest rates.

Technical Assistance

Train planners, building inspectors and other government staff how to qualify green building design with a software solution such as EDGE. The EDGE technical team can help.

Net Metering

Work with utility companies to enable building owners to generate renewable energy to the grid, resulting in carbon positive buildings which can be certified with EDGE.

Public Campaigns

Generate public support through advocacy efforts. Work with utility companies to build evidence of results and communicate successes to the public.

Green Building Legislation

Bundle a certification standard such as EDGE directly into a new set of green building codes.

Incorporate green building codes to further stimulate green building growth in your community.

Green building incentives encourage voluntary certification. Incentives work best when layered over mandatory codes which are frequently updated and enforced. Governments can endorse a green building certification with third-party verification, such as EDGE, and embed it in the building permitting process as an alternative compliance method to meet and exceed energy and water efficiency codes.

The EDGE App can be used to ensure buildings demonstrate resource efficiency of 20 percent in the categories of energy, water, and embodied energy in materials, with certification guaranteeing an independently validated approach.

Together, they create the “push and pull” that is required to achieve true market transformation.

Incorporate green building codes to further stimulate green building growth in your community.

For more information on how to implement green buildings codes, see IFC’s Green Buildings Policy Pathways for Emerging Markets.

Hear the voices of governments incorporating EDGE into their sustainability strategy.

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    EDGE in Mexico: Fighting COVID-19 at a Certified Green Hospital

    EDGE is helping healthcare facilities to target areas where resource-efficient technologies can reduce energy and water use. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new EDGE-certified IMSS hospital has opened in Puebla. Watch its story to learn how its resource-efficient design has contributed to operational savings that will be used to provide greater care for patients.

Everyone wins by building green.

By bringing together those who design, develop, finance, and incentivize green buildings, EDGE unlocks collaboration and provides a new paradigm for the future.

EDGE Experts
EDGE Experts

Get Started. If you work with a government and would like any assistance in this area, please reach out to us at and we would be happy to assist you.

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