How sustainable is green finance?
The award ceremony, which was held concurrently with the Global Sustainable Finance Conference, is an initiative of the Global Sustainable Finance (GSF) Network that recognizes financial institutions that have successfully embedded economic, social and environmental sustainability into their businesses and that are making outstanding contributions in the field of sustainable finance.
“It is an honour for us to be recognized at this level; especially considering that we have only been in existence for a short period of time.The journey has however been a welcome challenge and the response from Namibians has beenphenomenal”, stated Chief Executive Officer, Benedict Libanda when he received the award on behalf of the Fund.
Recognized for the efforts made in developing innovative financing in the areas of biodiversity conservation, sustainable tourism and green technologies, the EIF was one of eight environmental investment institutions around the globe nominated for the award.
The Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia is a state-owned enterprise that is funded by international donor commitments and local conservation fees and environmental levies. The funds are used for investing in the protection and wise management of the environment, promoting sustainable use of natural resources for economic development and conserving biological diversity and ecological life-support functions.
Since inception in February 2012, the EIF introduced a grant making mechanism that has provided support to over 26 environmental projects across Namibia, directly benefiting an estimated 6,000 community members. As part of its Business Strategy, the Fund has also designed a groundbreaking financing instrument that will provide subsidized green loans at prime minus 5.5% that is ring-fenced for the development and promotion of green enterprises in Namibia. This initiative, set to be unveiled at the end of July 2013, is envisaged to grant access to finance for enterprises aiming to invest in environmentally sustainable solutions for theirbusinesses.
“The first roll-out of the green soft loans is expected to benefit around 200 households. We will also target to finance about fifteen Small and Medium Enterprises involved in green enterprise development such as solar water geysers, solar water pumps, water efficient products, organic farming products, eco-tourism facilities and waste management technologies”,said an ecstatic Libanda.