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AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corp (AHRC) has signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) signifying its commitment to achieve EDGE Zero Carbon certification for 2,826 rooms in its hotel portfolio by 2026, a first for a hotel group in the Philippines.

EDGE Zero Carbon is a globally recognized net zero building certification and the highest of three levels of certification for EDGE, which stands for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies. An innovation of IFC, EDGE is a green building certification system that promotes resource-efficient, low-carbon buildings, requiring a 20 percent improvement for each of energy use, water use, and embodied carbon in materials compared to base case. EDGE Zero Carbon goes further, requiring 40 percent savings on energy use via onsite measures, and that the buildings must be carbon neutral, through renewable energy, carbon offsets, or a combination of both.

AHRC’s pursuit of EDGE Zero Carbon certification follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ayala Land Inc (ALI), AREIT, and IFC in September 2023, aimed at achieving EDGE Zero Carbon certification for 1.5 million square meters by 2025, establishing the Philippines’ largest net zero building portfolio, of which 354,000 square meters (eight buildings) have been certified.

“We at Ayala Land have been steadfast in our allegiance to sustainability and this partnership with IFC is a significant step in assuring environmental sustainability in our hotel group. These efforts fall in line with Ayala Group’s commitment to achieve zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050,” Mariana Zobel de Ayala, Senior Vice-President, Leasing and Hospitality Head, Ayala Land, Inc.

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Photo shows the signatories of the agreement (l-r): Eileen Escobido, AVP, Project Development Senior Director and Sustainability Lead, AHRC; Javier Hernandez, Head of Hotels Group; Mariana Zobel de Ayala, Senior Vice- President, Leasing and Hospitality Head, Ayala Land, Inc.; IFC Country Manager Jean-Marc Arbogast; Serra Ekinci Oz, IFC Senior Investment Officer; and Angelo Tan, Edge Country Head.

According to IFC Philippines Country Manager, Jean-Marc Arbogast, “IFC is proud to support Ayala Land in their pursuit of EDGE Zero Carbon certification for their hotel portfolio. Ayala Land is a longstanding partner of IFC and we hope this latest commitment will spur more partners from the hospitality industry to translate their net zero commitments to concrete climate action.”

Javier Hernandez, Head of Hotels Group says that “While we will initially target EDGE Zero Carbon Certification for 11 of our hotel buildings with 2,826 rooms, the view is to add more to this in the future.”

He adds that the move is a significant milestone for AHRC as it is a testament to its advocacy of sustainable tourism. The hotel group has obtained its energy from renewable sources since 2021 and has been increasing efforts in sustainability, fulfilling its commitment to environmental responsibility.

IFC is a member of the World Bank Group, and the largest global development finance institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. IFC works in more than 100 countries, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities, and has invested more than $12 billion in green buildings from its own account and mobilization, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity on a livable planet. IFC’s EDGE program has certified 60 million square meters of floorspace globally.