The International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the private sector arm of the World Bank – in partnership with the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), honoured three winners of its Women in Green Building Competition at the Green Building Convention 2023 held in Cape Town on 15 November.
Lenore Cairncross, IFC EDGE’s Green Building Lead for Africa, comments: “IFC EDGE is committed to supporting women in the green building sector through targeted training programmes, including this competition where we offered EDGE Expert in-person and online training to 10 finalists, and I am delighted that over half of South Africa’s EDGE Experts are now women.
“The three winners recognised are the three top-scoring EDGE Experts out of 10 competition finalists. By highlighting the accomplishments and innovations of these rising stars for the second consecutive year of this competition, we aim to inspire, empower and further propel women toward leadership roles in sustainable construction, fostering an environment of equality and progress in the industry.”
Introducing this year’s winners
Luze Kloppers-Mouton was awarded first place. She is an assistant manager in Sustainable Development at Lithon and holds a BSc in Interior Architecture. She says: “Building better and green is still seen in most boardrooms as an add-on to a project rather than the better alternative. It is seen as a nice-to-have instead of a necessity to achieve project sustainability – not only environmentally and socially but also financially.
“Winning the EDGE competition, I strive to showcase what is possible and the benefits of EDGE Buildings in the boardroom, starting the conversations at the core of decision-making. I hope my actions will inspire others to join the conversations so that we can all build together to achieve a better future for us all.”
Lungile Mthi, was recognised with second place in the competition. She runs the Facilities Management and Sustainability leg of F&L Facilities and Projects and holds a BSc Honors QS from Nelson Mandela University.
“Through the message of sustainability, winning this competition has meant a change in my world and, subsequently, the ecosystem of those I come into contact with. This opportunity has given me the impetus to be more aggressive in my mission to break down barriers to sustainability within the facilities management industry.
“The simple yet profound concepts within the EDGE Certification affirm that the intersectional benefit to all stakeholders makes the implementation of EDGE methodologies and green building design a requirement and not a nice-to-have,” she says.
Giselle Pillay, a proficient civil engineer at JG Afrika, propels sustainable development with a comprehensive background in civil engineering and waste management. On achieving third place in this year’s competition, she comments: “Now recognised as an accomplished EDGE Expert, I perceive this milestone as a gateway to explore new opportunities and a pathway to advocate for sustainable practices in my ongoing project involving the design of schools for special-needs children.
“Winning the EDGE Expert course and participating in the Green Building Convention provides a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, fostering collaboration for greater sustainability worldwide. Empowered by this accolade, my goal is to drive sustainable practices in my immediate projects and as a catalyst for building a resilient future for communities in South Africa and beyond.”
The award ceremony was held during the workshop, “Celebrating Women in Green Building: Rising Stars”, hosted by IFC to showcase women’s expertise and achievements within the green building industry. The workshop was moderated by Lenore Cairncross, IFC EDGE Africa’s Green Building Lead, and featured: Bakang Moeng, Advocacy, Public Policy & Sustainability specialist of the GBCSA; Ndzipho Iphendule, sustainability consultant at WSP; Nomamfengu Mbele, sustainability specialist at Growthpoint Properties; and last year’s winner Abi Godsell, Research & Content project manager at the GBCSA.
Lisa Reynolds, CEO of the GBCSA, says: “This is the second year that the Green Building Council South Africa has partnered with IFC in support of this wonderful initiative. We are committed to the growth of the green economy and sustainable green jobs. The promotion of women within this space is a personal ambition of mine.”
An innovation of the IFC, the EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) online platform is a green building standard and certification system for more than 150 countries, helping property developers build and brand green in a fast, easy and affordable way. It currently dominates the residential green building certification market with more than 90% of certifications in South Africa and 76% market share in all other African countries.
EDGE Experts are industry professionals trained to help developers, owners or larger project teams understand the EDGE standard, software and certification system, including advice on green design and assistance with preparation of an application for EDGE certification.