EDGE certification is a much-discussed topic in today’s warehousing industry, especially as the sector strives to become more sustainable, efficient, and eco-friendly. It proves the industry’s commitment to sustainability and reducing its environmental footprint while still retaining the operational excellence it’s become known for.
EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) is a standard developed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and awarded to buildings that advance sustainable practices. A rigorous process of evaluating those buildings, their construction, and operational practices, is involved before being granted an EDGE certification.
For warehouses and industrial buildings, EDGE certifications focus on three main areas of sustainability: energy, water, and materials. By investigating these three factors, the process looks into the warehouse’s operations and rewards builders for innovative solutions that achieve optimal resource savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Having an EDGE certification demonstrates a warehouse’s efforts toward sustainability and innovation. It’s an attractive accolade, becoming a selling point for customers and investors. This article talks more about EDGE certification, its advantages, and how to achieve it.
The Benefit of EDGE Certification for Warehouses
Having an EDGE certification is not only advantageous to the environment. The warehouse owner also has several things to gain from the certification, from economic gains to an improved reputation.
EDGE certifications are primarily used to advance environmental sustainability. Because certification requires that the warehouse is designed and operated with a focus on environmentally positive standards, such as reduced water consumption, energy efficiency, and sustainable materials, it ensures warehouses reduce their carbon footprint and do their part to combat climate change and promote environmental conservation.
EDGE certifications push warehouses to be more conscious about how they use and optimize their resources. This led the industry to adopt energy-efficient technology and systems to minimize energy consumption and water use.
Switching to environmentally friendly systems and technologies allows warehouses to reduce operational costs. Their efforts to reduce energy and water consumption lead to lower utility bills and decreased maintenance. Not to mention that sustainability efforts will increase the building’s property value in the long run.
Consumers and investors are becoming more selective about the businesses they support, leaning toward organizations that prioritize environmental sustainability. An EDGE certification is valuable recognition and independent validation that will give a warehouse a competitive edge and attract more consumers, clients, and tenants.
To advance sustainable practices, governments are offering incentives to companies that focus on reducing their carbon footprint. A warehouse with EDGE certification can open its doors to these rewards, such as financial incentives, grants, or tax breaks.
How to Achieve EDGE Certification for Your Warehouse
To obtain EDGE certification, warehouses must undergo a rigorous process. This certification comes with a cost, the amount of which depends on the following factors:
- The size of your warehouse
- The complexity of your facility
- Your existing level of energy efficiency
- The location of the warehouse
There may also be fees for the certification process, including documentation, assessment, and verification fees.
The process starts with an investigation of your warehouse and operational practices. To obtain certification, it must meet global standards on energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable materials, and innovation. Once the assessments are done, then comes the time to determine if the warehouse can be granted certification.
The difficulty of obtaining EDGE certification will depend on several factors, including its existing level of sustainability and how willing the warehouse is to adopt green building solutions.
If the warehouse already has a good number of energy-efficient features and only requires minor adjustments, then the process should be relatively straightforward. It may be more difficult for less environmentally conscious warehouses, requiring more investments and changes in infrastructure.
Regarding how long it takes to receive EDGE certification, the timeline will depend on the warehouse’s readiness to implement the recommended global standards. It may take several months from the initial assessment to achieve final certification.
Successful Case Studies of EDGE-certified Warehouses
Plenty of companies have successfully achieved EDGE certification. Some examples include:
If, like these companies, you want to get your warehouse EDGE-certified, here are the steps to take:
- Pre-assessment: Conduct a preliminary assessment of your warehouse to determine its eligibility for EDGE certification.
- Working with an EDGE expert: Engage an EDGE expert or green building consultant who can help you through the certification process.
- Data collection: Collect data about your warehouse’s energy, water, and resource consumption.
- Sustainability plan: Create a sustainability plan that includes the measures you will implement to meet EDGE global standards.
- Green building measures: Implement your sustainability plan, invest in green building measures, and make sustainable changes to your warehouse.
- Documentation: Document all the measures you implemented.
- Verification: Engage an auditor or certification body to verify your compliance with EDGE global standards.
- Certification: If you meet EDGE requirements, you will receive your certificate.
What are the Main Advantages of EDGE Green Certification Compared to LEED?
EDGE and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are two certifications for green buildings. However, more companies seek to obtain EDGE over LEED certification for various reasons.
For one, EDGE is simpler, primarily focusing on only three key areas of sustainability. This streamlined approach generally makes the certification process quicker and more cost-effective. It’s easy for companies to apply for certification and optimize their buildings to meet global sustainability standards.
EDGE is also seen as more globally recognized and applicable. Its standards are tailored to meet the needs of both developed countries and emerging markets, providing practical solutions to advance their sustainable development.
If you’re looking to get started obtaining EDGE certification, speak with our experts today.