The eco.business Fund has released its first impact report today highlighting the positive impact the fund has had on the environment in Latin America and the Caribbean so far, and the progress made since its inception. “Investing in Impact on the Ground,” outlines how the fund has provided financing and technical assistance to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources.
By end of 2018, the fund had disbursed USD 457 million to more than 3,000 end borrowers involved in activities mainly in the agriculture and agro-industrial sector. The eco.business Fund contributed to maintaining a stock of 4.3 million tons of CO2 through its financing of agroforestry, supporting more than 140,000 hectares of sustainably managed farmland, and has contributed to water savings of 4.2 million cubic meters. Not only does this contribute to the protection of fragile and biodiversity-rich ecosystems, but also to a more efficient use of natural resources and sustainable financial practices.
The report highlights impact stories such as how satellite imaginary monitoring for cattle ranching helps to prevent deforestation in Nicaragua, how shade grown coffee helps to mitigate the effects of climate change, and how the technical assistance facility helped to raise awareness for environmental protection among school children in Nicaragua.
Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund, stated: “We are very proud of our first report and hope readers will enjoy learning more about the various ways the fund has created impact by supporting sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery and aquaculture, forestry and tourism.”
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The fund mainly provides loans to qualified financial institutions that on-lend the money to eligible borrowers, which include holders of recognized certifications or those making improvements in line with conservation and biodiversity goals. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism. An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It has received further donor support from the European Commission. The fund’s additional investor base comprises IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, the U.K. government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dutch development bank FMO, Austrian development bank OeEB, and institutional investors such as sustainable banking institution ASN Bank, German ethical bank GLS Bank, Calvert Impact Capital, and Raiffeisen Bank International. Finance in Motion, a leading impact investing company, is also an investor.Operating hand-in-hand with the eco.business Fund, the eco.business Development Facility provides high-impact technical assistance to financial institutions and final borrowers.