Green buildings tech good for stronger economies

For Kenyan corporates, green buildings can be a long-term investment with assured returns. [iStockphoto]

Today, the world's-built environment accounts for almost 40 per cent of global energy-related carbon emissions and extracts about 50 per cent of the world's resources.

The International Energy Agency estimates that to reduce the world's emissions to cap global warming estimates at 1.5 degrees, industries need to move up to 10 times faster than the current rate in adopting carbon-reducing processes.

As the world celebrated World Green Building Week in September, themed, "Building for Everyone," Kenya's quest to address its bulging housing demands calls for the adoption of green building technologies more than ever as our contribution to humanity's global efforts to tackle the effects of climate change. According to the World Green Building Council, a green building is one that in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative environmental impacts from enhanced use of "green" technologies.

These include natural lighting in common areas or increased use of efficient LED lighting with motion sensors, natural ventilation as opposed to air-conditioned ventilation and reduced metered water consumption in favour of water harvesting and use of water-efficient taps and flush systems.

Adopting these sustainable practices can help ease the pressure on cities struggling with erratic water and power supplies. At the same time, those living in green homes benefit thanks to reduced utility bills, indoor air quality, biophilia and great views directly.

For Kenyan corporates, green buildings can be a long-term investment with assured returns.

They can help make a difference amongst its stakeholders amidst an environment characterised by runaway operating expenses.

Absa Bank Kenya is one such entity that is keen on being a leader in sustainability by adopting green practices. With corporates across the world fast-tracking achievement of net zero goals, Absa Bank Kenya has committed to achieving a net zero status by 2040.

The bank identified green buildings as one of the pathways towards the decarbonisation goal.