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

 

Going, going, gone

1 week 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'

1 week 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 weeks 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...

Agribank chases defaulters

4 weeks ago - 21 February 2019 | Banking

Embattled farmers defaulting on their loans are increasingly being dragged to court in an effort by Agribank Namibia to recover outstanding debts. Last...

BoN, Bundesbank to further bolster ties

1 month - 18 February 2019 | Banking

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) and the central bank of Germany, the Deutsche Bundesbank, want to strengthen existing ties, particularly in the areas of combating...

Surge in use of digital banking

1 month - 11 February 2019 | Banking

FNB Namibia says customers are increasingly embracing digital banking channels in order to bank in a convenient and affordable manner.The highest number of customers migrated...

Banks sued for rand manipulation

1 month - 07 February 2019 | Banking

The Competition Commission of South Africa says Standard Chartered Bank has pleaded guilty to currency manipulation, including of the South African rand, citing a consent...

Peace of mind

1 month - 01 February 2019 | Banking

Bank Windhoek, Auto Armor Namibia and Amber Connect have forged an amazing partnership that gives customers peace of mind on the road.Bank Windhoek, Auto Armor...

LongRich model under investigation

2 months ago - 18 January 2019 | Banking

The Bank of Namibia is assessing the activities of LongRich to establish whether it is legitimate or a pyramid scheme, BoN spokesman Kazembire Zemburuka has...

IT glitch leaves bank customers stranded

2 months ago - 09 January 2019 | Banking

OGONE TLHAGEAn IT glitch left hundreds of FNB Namibia customers at Oshikango stranded yesterday.The customers, who were queuing outside the bank from 08h30, thought that...

Latest News

Millions unaccounted for at NDC,...

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Economics

The Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) has failed to submit documentary evidence to prove how it spent N$90.1 million between 2015 and 2017, the latest report...

Aluta continua!

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Columns

Tomorrow is without doubt a significant day in our national history, as we pause to celebrate the spirit of our forefathers and struggle heroes and...

Africa Briefs

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Economics

No end date for Eskom’s power cutsSouth Africa's public enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday he cannot say yet when rolling blackouts will end, as...

Cob plundering suspects nabbed

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Crime

Leandrea Louw Two men arrested on Saturday for allegedly being in possession of 60 large cob made their first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s...

Unfinished pipeline impacts 7 000...

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Infrastructure

About 6 932 people and 33 790 large and 18 395 small stock units are facing thirst, as the agriculture ministry battles to finish the...

Apple unveils new iPad, updates...

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Technology

Sonam RaiApple Inc, in a surprise move on Monday, launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini ahead of a March 25...

Climate change and productivity

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Agriculture

Climate change is a long-term change in climatic/weather patterns of the earth or region. Such change is observed in temperature and rainfall patterns, amongst others....

Palladium hits record high

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Business

Palladium surged to a record yesterday as the risk of a ban on some Russian exports added to supply concerns for the autocatalyst metal. Spot...

State supports non-compliant security firms

1 day - 20 March 2019 | Business

Employers and trade unions agree that one of the major issues facing the Namibian security services industry is that some government institutions continue to appoint...

Load More