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Analysis

Navigating Misconceptions in Green Markets

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 15:45

Perhaps the most pertinent aspect to address in the creation of a solid sustainability market is the country’s normative and political landscape. César Ulises Treviño, Director General of specialized consulting firm Bioconstrucción y Energía Alternativa (BEA), believes that, while the private sector pushes for these new innovative projects, it is the policy makers that will set the course for Mexico’s future cities. In his view, the government must push the boundaries of minimum performance levels and the private sector must intensify interest in the market and promote initiatives.

“The process of creating norms is complex and we cannot expect the government to introduce energy efficiency norms for the residential and commercial segments in a matter of days,” Treviño admits. In 2013, the NMX-AA164-SCFI for Sustainable Construction was created, and previous norms, such as the NOM-020-ENER from 2011, also target energy efficiency for housing developments. 

The government is improving its operations through INDAABIN, which has an effective program similar to that of the EPA Energy Start Portfolio in the US. This entails benchmarking 600-800 governmental buildings in order to establish a baseline for improving energy efficiency practices. “It is unfortunate that while we have norms and regulations for energy efficiency, these are not properly administered,” Treviño laments. He attributes this lack of control to the authorities’ limited resources for carrying out the evaluations and the lack of analytical follow-up.

As former president of the Mexican Green Building Council, Treviño had the opportunity to work alongside the UN and ITESM in an environmental program on green buildings and their impact on reducing climate change. Mexico was commended for its various initiatives surrounding sustainable housing developments like INFONAVIT and COTRAVI.