IDB earns environmental certifications for energy efficiency and sustainability

Bank’s Headquarters and its Costa Rica country office are among only 1,800 buildings worldwide that have received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Existing Buildings certification

The Headquarters buildings of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. and its Country Office located in San Jose, Costa Rica have obtained the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification as environmentally sustainable structures.

By earning these certifications, the IDB adds its facilities to the select group of buildings in the world known as "high performance green buildings". The certification acknowledges the Bank’s ongoing efforts to focus on environmental stewardship and provide its staff with a healthy working environment.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED rating system is an internationally recognized set of performance standards measuring the sustainable ongoing operation of buildings. In order to achieve certification, LEED buildings must meet strict standards related to site selection and development, energy and water efficiency, sustainable materials, waste reduction, and indoor environmental quality.

The Headquarters facilities were certified under the "Existing Buildings" category, awarded to only 1,800 buildings worldwide to date. Energy efficiency was a notable achievement, particularly at the Headquarter’s main building, which earned the maximum number of points in that category. LEED-certified buildings are, on average, at least 25 percent more efficient than non-LEED buildings.

The certification was the culmination of a two-year effort that required a comprehensive assessment of building operating systems and related management practices; collection of extensive data on building equipment performance; and implementation of LEED-compliant procedures to manage various building operations. The Bank then underwent a six-month performance measurement period to demonstrate that each element of the program was deserving of certification.

The Bank’s Country Office in Costa Rica was certified under the "Commercial Interiors" category and is only the 9th LEED certified space in that country. The office was designed with a high-performance "green" interior that incorporated energy efficient equipment and careful selection of environmentally friendly materials.
During the construction phase, a project management effort ensured that LEED standards were adhered to, addressing recycling and waste disposal.

The Bank promotes corporate environmental responsibility in areas such as improving energy and water efficiency; reducing, reusing and recycling waste and materials; minimizing the consumption and emission of hazardous substances; and providing a healthy and safe working environment. 

LEED certification is consistent with the IDB's priorities in supporting environmentally sustainable projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Among the projects the IDB has backed was a loan, announced in October 2009, to support a Mexican private commercial bank for a greening project that included seeking LEED certification. In addition, the IDB announced in December 2010 a LEED financing facility loan for the construction of green hotels in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean

The IDB will continue setting high standards for its own facilities with respect to the environment and approving loans in the Latin America and the Caribbean that focus on making a difference in environmental sustainability.