São Paulo, August 28, 2014
– IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has awarded EDGE green building certification to an apartment complex designed and developed by Canopus, one of the largest construction companies in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Canopus is the first company to achieve EDGE certification for a building project in Brazil, a country where rapid urbanization has created many challenges in the housing sector.
IFC’s EDGE (“Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies”) is a new green building certification system created for emerging markets. It provides clients with technical solutions for going green and captures capital costs and projected operational savings, in order to prove the business case for building green. While the drivers behind EDGE are financial, the results are environmental – EDGE helps mitigate climate change by encouraging resource-efficient development. To qualify for EDGE certification, companies must utilize the EDGE software to prove their building design will reduce energy, water, and embodied energy in building materials by at least 20 percent compared to a conventional building.
Constelação Residence is an apartment complex comprised of a dozen 12-story towers with 576 two-and three-bedroom units located near Belo Horizonte. Canopus’ resource-efficient design—which includes improvements such as solar hot water collectors, energy-efficient lighting, external shading devices, and low-flow faucets — is projected to achieve reductions of up to 22 percent in energy, 21 percent in water, and 54 percent in materials. The concrete to be used in the construction includes ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS), an industrial by-product of iron and steel making.
The EDGE Certificate awarded to Canopus is a result of the company’s strategy to support initiatives that increase the sustainability level of the construction sector while improving environmental conditions in urban centers. Recognized for the quality of its high and middle-income residences, Canopus plans to broaden its reach into the affordable housing segment in underdeveloped regions in the North and Northeast of Brazil.
Since 2009, IFC has invested nearly $600 million in green buildings, including homes, commercial buildings, hotels, and hospitals, both directly and through financial intermediaries. IFC has also provided regulatory advice to the governments of Colombia, Panama, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. Given that buildings account for over a quarter of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions, green building investments and advisory services are among the most important ways to fight climate change.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit
The construction and development company Canopus began its operation in the market in the state of Minas Gerais more than 40 years ago. Today, it is present in the main metropolitan regions of the country, most notably in the cities of Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where it operates in the mid and high level residential and corporate, residential condominiums and flats segment. In 1996, it created the building company Emcasa, a subsidiary that began its operations with a focus on projects intended for popular housing segments. In 2009, with the strong economic expansion of the country and the incentive of the Federal Government to foster programs such as Minha Casa Minha Vida (My House, My Life), Emcasa, aware of its social responsibility and the deficiencies faced by the country in offering housing, began to develop and build projects to meet the growing demand of workers who seek to realize the dream of owning their own home.