Luxembourg, 29 August 2022 - The eco.business Fund released its Impact Report today which highlights how it exceeded its business plan and impact goals for the year. The fund closed 2021 with USD 528 million in outstanding portfolio, raising a record amount of USD 95 million in private funding. This underscores the trust private investors have in the fund and highlights their commitment to biodiversity finance. Working with like-minded partners has allowed the fund to provide over 28,000 sub-loans to support sustainable business.
Entitled “Partnerships for Sustainability: Impact Report 2021,” the report explores how the fund maintained its focus on working with trusted partners to improve biodiversity and foster sustainable production practices in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. The fund expanded its scope and ventured into Mexico and Peru and engaged with non-banking financial institutions and cooperatives – a first for the fund – that serve sustainable small and medium enterprises and small holder farmers.
Biodiversity milestones achieved during the year included farmland under sustainable management reaching 888,000 hectares, 4.8 million cubic meters of water saved, and 24 million tons of absolute CO2 stored by agroforestry activities, as of December 2021.
Through its Development Facility, which operates alongside the fund providing technical assistance to maximise impact, the fund has partnered with 33 institutions to date, supporting the implementation of Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS) for 12 of them.
Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund stated: “It was an exciting year, defined by the existing and new partnerships we nurtured and built during another challenging year. We are excited to have expanded our footprint further into the food value chain and sustainable tourism and allowing companies in these sectors to benefit from increased financing from our partners. It is these trusted relationships that will help us achieve even broader positive impact in the years ahead.”
To read the full Impact Report, click here.
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 in Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The eco.business Fund provides financing through three avenues: local financial institutions that are committed to the fund’s mission and which have the capacity to reach its target group; directly to its target group (i.e. companies and producers); and in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, to real sector intermediaries. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and sustainable tourism. Target beneficiaries are those that hold an eligible sustainability certification or those taking out a loan to make eligible sustainable investments in their operations.
Operating together with each of the two sub-funds, are two development facilities that provide high-impact technical assistance to investment partners and final borrowers. The fund’s impact management system, through its advisor Finance in Motion, underwent an independent verification by impact auditor BlueMark affirming strong Operating Principles for Impact Management alignment in 2021.
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).
The sub-fund for Latin America and the Caribbean has received funding from the European Commission as well as from numerous other prestigious development finance institutions and institutional investors.
The sub-fund for sub-Saharan Africa was launched in 2020 with initial funding from BMZ.
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