The eco.business Development Facility co-sponsored the third Sustainability Congress, organized by Colombian banking association Asobancaria, on May 2 and 3 in Bogotá. In line with theme of “strengthening capacities within organizations”, the Congress brought together national and international experts from the public and private sectors to discuss innovative and successful strategies for promoting sustainability in banking. More than 400 representatives from the financial sector and local industry attended, exchanging on their own sustainability approaches.
The eco.business Fund took the opportunity to introduce Eco-Kakao, one of the fund’s end borrowers, and its sustainable practices in the cocoa sector. Eco-Kakao has implemented the Aurora and Sassandra Sustainable Programs in order to train cocoa farmers on crop management using environmentally friendly agricultural practices. Eco-Kakao has also obtained certification for its sustainable production processes in alignment with the fair trade and social responsibility framework.
Banco Pichincha also introduced its “eco credits” project, currently being implemented with support from the eco.business Development Facility. During the development of the project, the eco.business Development Facility provided the bank with a unique green business model that will be implemented in two stages: The first stage focuses on determining a strategy to link customers’ value chains to activities eligible for green finance. The second will pilot this new model in the field.
This marked the third year in a row that the eco.business Development Facility has co-sponsored the Sustainability Congress in Bogotá, including the inaugural session in 2017.
Karim ould Chih, Chairman of the Investment Committee and the eco.business Development Facility said: “The Sustainability Congress has become an important annual event in the Colombian financial sector, highlighting the importance of sustainability in the region’s banking sector.”
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.
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.
For more information please visit www.ecobusiness.fund and follow us on Twitter @ecobusinessfund.