01/20 2020 // Advertorial
Green loans for environmentally sound investments in South Eastern and Eastern Europe
ProCredit paves the way for medium-sized enterprises to make green investments
ProCredit banks are especially well-known in South Eastern and Eastern Europe, where the development-oriented commercial banks are primarily active. Their shared objective is to provide transparent, efficient and sustainable financial services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), because as the backbone of every economy, these companies make a significant contribution to growth from a development point of view. This also applies to the transition countries in which the group is active, such as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The parent company of the group is ProCredit Holding, which is based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. There is also a ProCredit bank in Germany, and since 2012, it has offered traditional account management to business clients via online or EBICS access. Due to the international presence of the ProCredit group in 10 countries in South Eastern and Eastern Europe as well as in Ecuador, ProCredit Bank Germany’s business accounts are ideal for payment transactions to and from these countries. The bank also provides traditional loans (either to finance working capital or for investment purposes) and guarantees. In addition, businesses can earn interest on their liquidity by utilising the bank’s instant access savings accounts and term deposit accounts.
Social, ethical and ecological considerations are essential components of the business model of all ProCredit banks, which demonstrate that the management of economically successful banks can go hand in hand with ethical principles and sustainability.
In line with the group’s business model and following a strict environmental and social screening process, more than 90% of the total loan portfolio consisted of loans to small and medium-sized enterprises at the end of September 2019. Of these, 44% of all loans went to local production and the agricultural sector.
Furthermore, the share of “green” loans, which are intended for environmentally friendly investments, accounted for nearly 16% of the total loan portfolio.
The steady growth in the share of the green loan portfolio over the last few years attests to the group’s intensive efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in its regions of operation. (For comparison: in December 2016 the share of green loans stood at just 9%). Due to the expertise they have gained over the years, ProCredit banks are perceived as pioneers and preferred partners for SMEs and as leaders in the granting of environmental loans to these enterprises.
By introducing environmentally conscious companies to each other, ProCredit banks also offer a forum for the exchange of knowledge, ideas and best practices within their customer base.
Due to its strong positioning as a bank for innovative and environmentally-oriented SMEs in South Eastern and Eastern Europe, the ProCredit group is an important partner for European institutions (such as the EIB and the EIF) with the corresponding support programmes for these companies. In addition, the group works closely with international institutions (such as the IFC as a subsidiary of the World Bank) to provide attractive financing for green investments by SMEs.
The ProCredit banks have thus already been able to support numerous enterprises in making green investments.
One example is Lemna Ecoinvest, a long-standing customer of ProCredit Bank Bulgaria. The company builds water treatment plants, measures the quality of water, air and soil, and offers environmental impact assessments. As ProCredit Bank Bulgaria promotes activities that support the protection of natural resources, it has also financed an investment by the company in new equipment with which pollutant analyses can be carried out with greater precision. This has enabled Lemna Ecoinvest to increase its range of services and thus its competitiveness.
Another example is the ProCredit Bank Kosovo customer and food producer Pestova, which has invested in a new combined heat and power plant. With this investment, the company, which continuously strives to improve its own equipment and facilities, has been able to drastically reduce its consumption of liquid petroleum gas and its CO2 emissions, improve its environmental performance, and in this way contribute to environmental protection in Kosovo.
Natura Trade is a client of ProCredit Bank Serbia. Based in the city of Loznica, it is one of the country’s leading companies in the carton packaging industry. Through regular investments in modern machinery and production equipment, the company has already been able to reduce its original energy consumption by 20%.
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