In May 2020, the head office of ProCredit Bank Bulgaria in Sofia was awarded a Zero Carbon Certificate under the EDGE building standard, making it the first building in Europe to receive the highest level of this type of certification.
The EDGE Zero Carbon Certificate certifies the carbon neutrality of a building and can be acquired within the EDGE certification process. In order to be awarded this certificate, the property must exhibit a minimum of 20% savings in water and embodied materials as well as on-site energy savings of 40%. Furthermore, 100% of the energy consumed must come from renewables or carbon offsets. The benchmark for these savings is set according to the country baseline.
ProCredit Bank Bulgaria gradually completed the certification stages for its head office and received the EDGE certificate in June 2019, thus meeting the first-level requirements in the “zero carbon journey”. In the second stage, the ProCredit bank building achieved savings of 50% for energy and 43% for water. This eventually led to the completion of the third and final stage of the EDGE certification process: the zero carbon stage. Our very own rooftop photovoltaic plant and the purchase of guarantees of renewable origin have contributed to making the building 100% carbon neutral.
“Throughout the years, we at ProCredit Bank Bulgaria have always sought to make the right choices in terms of environmental protection. We are making ongoing improvements to the energy and resource efficiency of our head office building and always keep track of our impact on nature. Therefore, it was a natural choice for us to apply for EDGE certification. We have not only invested in regular energy-saving measures but also in a rooftop photovoltaic installation to generate our own power. We purchase any additional electricity we need only with a guarantee of renewable origin, and for heating we have now started to offset our emissions. We can proudly say that our building not only consumes 50% less energy and water than the local market standard, but that we are now a zero carbon emission institution, too. As the first company in Bulgaria to hold this certificate, we hope to become a role model for other institutions, encouraging them to take similar environmental initiatives. All of our efforts have contributed to achieving the ProCredit group’s goal of becoming a totally carbon neutral organisation” – said Kameliya Mineva, Management Board member of ProCredit Bank Bulgaria.
The EDGE Zero Carbon Certificate for the head office in Sofia is a significant step in ProCredit Bank’s pursuit to reducing the bank’s carbon footprint, which is one of the three goals the group set for itself in the Impact Report 2018. The group aims to achieve these goals within the next three to five years. Thus, the certificate is an important milestone in achieving carbon neutrality in our own business operations. All banks in the ProCredit group have adopted environmental protection as a part of their policy of social responsibility and in this manner, strive to not only improve their efforts towards a cleaner environment, but educate and advise their clients on how to upgrade their businesses to become more sustainable. More details can be found in the group’s Impact Report 2019.
EDGE, which stands for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, is a green building certification system of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), focused on making buildings more resource-efficient. EDGE was developed by the IFC to empower emerging markets to scale up resource-efficient buildings in a fast, easy, and affordable way.