The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has recognised the most successful banks under its Green Trade Facilitation Programme (Green TFP) by presenting them with awards for their performance in 2019.
The Green TFP allows partner banks under the TFP to use their existing trade finance facilities for the financing of exports, imports and local distribution of imported green technologies and materials, in line with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition (GET) approach.
While the prizes presented today recognise the banks’ performances in 2019, this year’s coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the vital role that trade plays in keeping the global economy going. The EBRD has responded to increased demand for its financing with the expansion of its trade finance limits to €3 billion for 2020 alone.
The prize for the Most Active Issuing Bank in 2019 – Green Trade went to Piraeus Bank. The bank facilitated the highest number of transactions, most of them in the renewable energy sector, with a total CO2 emission-reductions impact equivalent to taking 6,000 cars off the roads in Athens each year.
The prize for the Most Active Confirming Bank in 2019 – Green Trade was awarded to Commerzbank. The bank successfully supported the highest number of transactions under the Green TFP as a confirming bank, with an annual CO2 emission-reductions impact equivalent to the carbon footprint of 32,000 passengers flying from Germany to Mallorca and back.
These two awards were presented jointly with The Banker, a Financial Times publication that covers the world’s banking and financial sector.
Prizes for Deal of the Year – Green Trade were awarded to:
- BLOM Bank for improving the energy efficiency of the residential sector in Lebanon, with an energy-savings impact equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 10,000 Lebanese households.
- Ukreximbank for boosting energy supply and energy security in Ukraine by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, with an impact equivalent to generating the energy that would be required to power 12,000 electric cars for more than a year.
- Converse Bank and Commerzbank, jointly, for encouraging best practices in industrial water efficiency in Armenia, with a water-savings impact equivalent to the annual water consumption of 220 Armenian households.
- Commercial International Bank, QNB Alahli, Banque de Tunisie, UBCI and BCR, jointly, for promoting responsible forest management by supporting trade in sustainably sourced secondary wood products, with a CO2 emission-reductions impact equivalent to planting more than 15 million trees.
Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director, Financial Institutions, said: “Trade was under pressure before the pandemic due to the rise of protectionism and geopolitical challenges. Initially the pandemic brought serious disruption to physical trade flows, but global trade has turned out to be more resilient than was initially expected. Today it plays a vital role in keeping the global economy afloat. However, trade – perhaps even more than other economic activities – has a special responsibility in building back a better world after the pandemic, one that is greener and more sustainable. We have been working with our clients over many years to foster green trade, and we are proud and pleased to recognise their achievements through the Green TFP prizes today.”
Since 2016, the Green TFP has supported almost 900 foreign trade transactions involving trade in higher-performance technologies and materials, with a total volume of €675 million across 22 of the economies where the EBRD invests.
Initially the pandemic brought serious disruption to physical trade flows, but global trade has turned out to be more resilient than was initially expected. Today it plays a vital role in keeping the global economy afloat.