The Benefits of sustainable investments

21 November 2018 | Banking

Claire Hobbs



In many first world economies, the effects of global warming continue to manifest as a business reality. In response to this crisis, the Namibian banking sector, in support of the Millennium Development Goals, is mandated to play a vital role in accelerating the local market's transition to a lower-carbon energy future.

Bank Windhoek and the Capricorn Group's commitment to sustainability means taking a long-term, holistic view that considers the perspectives of all stakeholders. Our sustainability framework provides the structure and processes through which we create enterprise-wide awareness and ensure aligned thinking and practices. In other words, our sustainability strategy is based on addressing sustainability holistically, encompassing environmental, social and economic issues.

The Namibian economy is confronted with key sustainability challenges, namely: climate change, poverty, health issues and resource shortages such as water, energy and food. In addressing these global and local concerns, Bank Windhoek plans to utilise its business lines, such as banking, investment and asset management, micro and property finance to address these key sustainability challenges. To assist in alleviating such challenges, Bank Windhoek has in their past financial year financed in excess of N$200 million worth of sustainability projects in the form of solar PV plants, thereby reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuels to generate electricity. Projects such as these also go a long way to enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of production using alternative, more sustainable energy sources, reducing our carbon footprint and mitigating climate change, all while contributing to the economy and employment creation.

A formal definition of sustainable banking is still being developed. At this stage, it is widely understood that sustainable banking involves carrying out banking operations and business activities with mindful consideration toward environmental and social impacts.



Invaluable enablers

While this is currently the accepted definition, banking and financial services in Namibia are poised to become invaluable enablers in the value chain of sustainable projects that reduce our dependence on the finite supply of fossil fuels as we look toward cleaner, more natural and infinite supply of alternative sources of energy. This move is critical since inadequate financing solutions have been identified as one of the major setbacks hampering the robust development of the sustainable energy sector in Namibia. This is due to both limited access to and the high cost of credit.

The Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (Sunref) a Agence Française de Développement's (AFD) green finance label, recently made funds available to Bank Windhoek and two other local commercial banks.

This initiative was a great learning journey for the bank's staff and clients involved in related renewable energy projects, and this experience encourages bank Windhoek to continue to expand its green lending activities. For this reason, Bank Windhoek aims to obtain additional sources of funding for its green lending activities where the proceeds will be used solely to finance eligible green projects and assets throughout Namibia.

The Namibian economy has many potential projects that are technically viable. Nevertheless, the financial feasibility of many projects falter in the face of enhanced due diligence and project preparation requirements, which are a crucial part of the evaluation process.

These are just some of the risk factors involved with financing sustainability projects.

Despite these challenges experienced by both the investor and lender, there are major benefits associated with sustainability investments within Namibia. The resources in Namibia are boundless, and most sustainability projects create much needed job opportunities while retaining investments within the country. Furthermore, due to the rapid technological advancement, many renewable energy generation and storage projects will become more affordable and attractive to investors.

• Claire Hobbs is Bank ­Windhoek's chief treasurer

Similar News

 

A mutual love for kapana

1 week ago - 17 May 2019 | Banking

Ester KamatiThe 2019 edition of the Nedbank Kapana Cook-off was launched on 10 May.The launch was hosted by Matthew Kapofi and included demonstrations by kapana...

Standard Bank: Investing in economic progression

3 weeks ago - 30 April 2019 | Banking

Standard Bank Namibia is fully committed to boosting investment and job creation through facilitating win-win smart partnerships that speak to managing economic headwinds, delivering on...

No more minting of 5c coins

1 month - 24 April 2019 | Banking

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has discontinued the minting of 5c coins as from the beginning of the year, the central bank said in a...

Standard Bank awards bursaries

1 month - 18 April 2019 | Banking

Standard Bank recently awarded bursaries to four students studying cybersecurity, forensic science and actuarial science, as part of its annual bursary programme.The bank awarded bursaries...

SME Bank: Asset seizures coming

1 month - 17 April 2019 | Banking

Enock Kamushinda and other Zimbabweans implicated in the raiding of the SME Bank have until 14 June to explain why the deputy sheriff of the...

Longrich ordered to cease operations

1 month - 15 April 2019 | Banking

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has declared Longrich Bioscience an illegal pyramid scheme and ordered all involved to cease operations immediately.A statement issued by the...

Longrich Bioscience an ‘illegal financial scheme’

1 month - 13 April 2019 | Banking

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has issued a statement saying Longrich Bioscience is an illegal financial scheme and has warned the public not to engage...

Going, going, gone

2 months ago - 14 March 2019 | Banking

The sole director of Transparency.com, which was housed in a non-descript office in Centurion, Johannesburg, has given a first-hand account of how the millions raided...

'Ask no questions, hear no lies'

2 months ago - 12 March 2019 | Banking

The liquidators of the SME Bank, David Bruni and Ian McLaren, have applied to the Gauteng High Court in South Africa to freeze five bank...

How SME Bank was looted

2 months ago - 07 March 2019 | Banking

Advocate Raymond Heathcote, acting on behalf of SME Bank liquidators David Bruni and Ian McLaren, said in court this week that the case read like...

Latest News

10% water hike coming

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek has proposed a 10% water and 5% sewer tariff hike to come into effect in July. The City's recently announced...

Low earners excluded from drought...

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

Households with a combined income of more than N$2 600 will not qualify for state drought assistance, which has effectively excluded even low-level civil servants...

How did we get here?

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Opinion

How did we get to a situation, as a country, where our government is asking already struggling workers to donate 2% of the salaries as...

AMTA ends Fysal agreement

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Agriculture

Fysal Fresh Produce is to retrench 60 employees at the end of this month after its contract with the Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (AMTA) was terminated....

Geingob grills Nanso

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Education

The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership received a grilling from President Hage Geingob on Wednesday during a meeting to discuss a number of issues,...

Fallout over 2% tax

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Economics

Political parties and analysts have called on the government to abandon a plan to introduce a “voluntary” 2% tax to fund drought relief.Prime Minister Saara...

Bild challenges Guibeb

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | International

The German newspaper Bild has rubbished a claim by the Namibian ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, that no arrest warrant had been issued against him.The...

Namibia ranks poorly for diversity

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Cultural

For a country that is described by many as one of the most diverse in the world, Namibia has ranked fairly poorly in a new...

Business ponders mass exodus

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Business

A recent survey by the Economic Policy Research Association (EPRA) of close to 600 businesses concerned about the government's policy direction shows that a staggering...

Load More