The demand for building certification services in Russia began to emerge after the British green building certification system BREEAM entered the Russian market in 2007, the certificate is issued by BRE Global, and the certification system developed in the USA by LEED, U.S. Green Building Council. Developers have realized the many benefits of their application and have begun to implement their projects in accordance with the universal international requirements of LEED and BREEAM in order to declare themselves as a leader in the growing popularity of “green building” and receive a prestigious certificate of compliance with green standards. Later in 2013, a project certified according to the German DGNB system appeared in Russia, and in 2020 the first WELL project, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), was registered.
All systems meet ESG requirements for real estate and are confirmed by certificates of compliance of buildings with green building principles. Such buildings are extremely favorable for the environment and people, they are cost-effective at all stages from design to operation, and in their design they are distinguished by sustainability and modern solutions in all areas of implementation.
In Russia, for a long time, many attempts were made to create own (national) certification system, local organizations, regional associations and federal authorities took part in this process. Several standards were developed, which faced such difficulties as: compliance with international requirements, market recognition and demand.
The systems were:
In 2021, VEB.RF (Vnesheconombank), seeing the development of the green agenda in the world, launched its own thoughtful and innovative certification system IRIIS, which was developed on the basis of the best international practices, received international recognition and began to be applied to large infrastructure projects. A separate digital platform has been developed for conducting an assessment using the IRRIS system https://rosinfra.ru/iriis.
The IRIIS system is recognized by the G20 countries and complies with the best international practices. In 2021, IRIIS entered the register of advanced infrastructure project management solutions that comply with the principles of quality infrastructure investments. The registry, created at the initiative of the G20, is maintained by the GIH, the OECD and the World Bank. IRIIS requirements are recognized as consistent with the provisions of the social and environmental policies of international development banks.
In March 2022, the need for our own system increased sharply, requiring active actions in import substitution, as due to sanctions imposed by the West, the international green certification systems BREEAM, LEED and WELL suspended work with customers from Russia.
At the moment, a domestic certification standard is being developed in accordance with the requirements of the ESG for green buildings, which will consist of three areas of sustainable development:
Customers, developers and owners who currently cannot certify their properties under the international system will have the opportunity to use the Russian version, which will be comparable to Western proposals in terms of technical requirements and the level of quality of execution and supplemented by criteria in the field of social, economic and managerial aspects focused on to improve the ESG rating of companies in general and the construction industry in particular.
It is supposed to create an independent certification body at the State Development Institute, which will check the documentation and evidence from developers to confirm that the project does indeed meet the strict requirements of the new system. Inspecting experts with the necessary qualifications, based on many years of experience in real estate certification under international systems, will conduct an objective assessment at all phases from design to completion of construction. Expert verifiers working at the facility should be completely independent of the objects of certification being implemented, i.e. they should not be bound by contractual relations, the status of an employee or affiliated entities. The assessment will be given transparently, with a separate conclusion for each item. The rating is assigned to the object on the basis of all items checked and conforming to the standards.
The equivalence of the technical requirements of the Russian system to foreign requirements, in the future, after the lifting of sanctions against Russia, will allow you to apply to the international certification bodies BREEAM, LEED or WELL and receive an international certificate for your facility. The following strategies will achieve this:
The volume of the market for international certification services in Russia, including contributions, payments and reports, is about 1 million € per year. Due to the current economic and political situation, the market volume will be greatly reduced. It is predicted that the emergence of the Russian system, which will have fewer difficulties in understanding associated with the language barrier and adaptation of documentation, will cause an increase in certification in the national, Russian market. In addition to simplifying understanding, an important factor will be that the Russian system will become cheaper for the customer in comparison with the international one.
The reasons for the lower price for the domestic certification service are:
Prior to the introduction of the latest package of sanctions, Russian companies confirmed the high level of quality of their properties to buyers, tenants, shareholders and investors and met ESG requirements only through international certification systems. Now, when this foreign confirmation tool has become unavailable, in order to fulfill their obligations and confirm the compliance of facilities with green standards, these companies will be able to use the national system that fully takes into account all international requirements and, after the stabilization of the international situation, can easily receive a foreign certificate.