Netherlands-based ASN Bank has invested USD 25 million debt in the eco.business Fund, a strong endorsement of the fund’s mission of supporting businesses in Latin America that promote biodiversity conservation, the sustainable use of natural resources, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
ASN Bank is the largest sustainable bank in the Netherlands which makes it an ideal partner for the fund. ASN Bank is committed to rigorous environmental and social (E&S) screening of investments and regularly receives high scores in the Dutch Fair Bank Guide.
The eco.business Fund, a public-private partnership supported by public-sector investments, offers a unique risk cushion to attract private impact investors seeking to bolster sustainable practices in Latin America. The ASN Bank investment raises the share of private investors in the eco.business Fund to around one third of the fund’s total capital commitments. The investment will grow the fund’s portfolio in the Latin America region by financing loans to businesses and farms in the agriculture, fishery, forestry, and eco-tourism sectors, via selected partner banks in the region.
Eco.business Fund Chairman Dr. Jens Mackensen said: “We are honored to welcome the ASN Bank as the newest investor to a like-minded group committed to increasing the sustainable use of natural resources. ASN Bank’s investment represents a further proof of concept for the eco.business Fund’s public-private partnership approach as public funding continues to attract private-sector monies.”
“Our investment in the eco.business Fund gives a Dutch bank like us, the opportunity to have a global impact on biodiversity conservation. Due to the leverage between public and private funding the risks involved are well mitigated,” said Remko de Bie, Account Manager Project Finance at ASN Bank.
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund is spearheading the promotion of business practices that contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of natural resources, and climate change mitigation and adaptation through private enterprises. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both financial and environmental returns. The fund mainly provides loans to qualified local financial institutions that 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, forestry and eco-tourism.
The eco.business Fund leverages contributions from donors, multilateral organizations, and development finance institutions and funding from private investors to maximize outreach and impact. Seed capital was provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and by the German Development Bank KfW acting as main sponsor. 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 local lending institutions and final borrowers.
About ASN Bank
ASN Bank has been investing in sustainable progress ever since its foundation in 1960. Its loans and investments only go towards future-oriented companies, sectors and countries that operate with respect for people, animals and nature. Clients can pay and save at ASN Bank, invest in the ASN Investment Funds and have their assets managed. The bank also provides funding for projects that fit in with its sustainability mission. ASN Bank is part of de Volksbank.