Fund Development Facility Launches Sustainability Academy

February 11, 2021

Source: Fund

The Fund Development Facility officially launched its Sustainability Academy designed to build capacity on environmental and social best practices for partner institutions and end borrowers and increase uptake of sustainable practices. Due to the global pandemic the world finds itself in, the Sustainability Academy was launched virtually through a training webinar conducted with partner institution Banco Hipotecario for its clients in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors to explore business opportunities arising from the COVID19 crisis.  

The webinar explored how the pandemic is an opportunity for partner institutions and their clients to adopt sustainable financial and business models to make them more resilient to economic volatility caused by COVID-19, and ensure agribusinesses remain operational. For example, the webinar discussed strategies that can help partner institutions, like Banco Hipotecario, promote green finance in the region. In addition, participants also explored how they can earn carbon credits, and how sustainability labels can help facilitate market access.

By providing access to tailor-made, high quality trainings, the Sustainability Academy aims to support partner institutions and end borrowers implement new practices which not only fulfil the fund’s mission to conserve biodiversity, support the sustainable use of natural resources and mitigate the effects of climate change, but also increase overall productivity and strengthen their respective organizations. 
Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Fund, stated: “We are proud to be launching the Sustainability Academy during a time when partner financial institutions and end borrowers need it most. With the economic repercussions being felt around the world due to the pandemic, now more than ever, it is time to collaboratively work together to ensure responsible practices are adopted to ensure the longevity of green businesses.” 

About the Fund

The 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 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 Fund, the Development Facility provides high-impact technical assistance to financial institutions and final borrowers.

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