Client in view – Sintali
As part of our new ‘Client in View’ series, we spoke with Eleni Polychroniadou, Co-Founder of Sintali, about what businesses can and are doing to ensure that their premises meet green standards now and in the future.
Sintali is a certification body that verifies that buildings meet green criteria as defined by a World Bank Group building standard called EDGE. In a nutshell, Sintali are fact-checkers. The company acts as an independent third party to make sure that sustainability claims about buildings are true.
Sintali began using Currency UK’s services in 2020.
Why do businesses want this certification?
The main reason why companies apply for this green building certification is investment. Banks and investors looking to finance green projects are increasingly asking for these types of certifications to be able to make verify that investments are “green”. So a lot of businesses looking to get financing are suddenly realising that they have to go green to access this money and that they have to do it in a verifiable way.
The verification component isn’t only applicable to banks but also to the general public, stakeholders, board members internally and suppliers. There is increasing scrutiny and pressure from the public to make sure that companies are truly doing what they say they’re doing in terms of sustainability. To prove that the business or building owners are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and are moving in the right direction, they pursue green building certification.
What is EDGE?
EDGE is a green building certification scheme that was developed by IFC, the private equity arm of the World Bank, to enable mass market transformation of the built environment. It is not only a recognised international accreditation but also a free software tool that allows people to understand how they can design a green building or how to retrofit an existing building to make it greener. Companies can use the free software, called the EDGE App, to make improvements and better decisions, and then go for the certification to validate the progress or achievements they have made.
One of the biggest benefits to the industry-leading software is that it can help teams understand the potential investment they need to make to a green building, whether that is a new design or retrofitting an existing building.
To achieve the EDGE certification, there are three key components that are measured: energy efficiency, water efficiency, and the embodied energy and materials which is really just the energy that it takes to make the materials that go into a building. These are three areas when it comes to EDGE that building owners or developers need to look at to ensure they are creating a sustainable structure.
Learn more about EDGE.
How can businesses achieve better sustainability?
One of the main points highlighted by Eleni was the importance of planning ahead. It’s crucial to integrate sustainability into a project as early as possible. Sintali sees a lot of cases where businesses have a plan and they go really far into the project before trying to factor in the environmental impact, often resulting in complications and large costs as it wasn’t accounted for in the beginning.
The other recommendation Eleni made is to focus on implementing environmental changes at scale, which may sound counterintuitive but in a lot of cases is a lot more cost-effective because of efficiencies of scale. The important thing to consider is that the regulation is coming, whether it’s now, tomorrow or in a year, there’s a collective agreement that this isn’t going anywhere so better to make changes now rather than be caught out later down the road.
What are Sintali’s plans moving forward?
“Over the next five years we would like to see the wide adoption of this green building certification and see multinationals around the world apply it across thousands of buildings at a time.
“We are already seeing it happen today but it’s still early adopters. I hope that in 10 years it’s just status quo and everyone is doing it.”
If you’d like to find out more about how Sintali works with businesses and management teams to create more sustainable buildings and premises you can find out more here.