Connect with us


Shortlist revealed for FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards



After attracting a record number of entries, the Financial Times (FT) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have unveiled the shortlist for the 2013 Sustainable Finance Awards – taking place in June at London’s InterContinental Hotel on Park Lane.

The Co-operative Banking Group, Standard Chartered and Bridges Ventures were among the UK firms to be recognised with gongs in 2012. The latter two appear on the shortlist for a second consecutive year.

Also in the running is the German division of WHEB Partners – the group co-founded by Ben Goldsmith that provides investment solutions to some of the most urgent sustainability challenges.

Russia’s Commercial Bank Center-Invest, the German GLS Bank and the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey are the three institutions vying for European sustainable bank of the year.

Meanwhile, Banco Santander of Spain and US-based Morgan Stanley join Standard Chartered in the sustainable global bank of the year category.

The 2013 awards attracted over 250 nominations – a new record for the event. These came from 161 financial institutions and 50 non-financial groups that were based in nearly 60 countries.

Blue & Green Tomorrow readers can claim a 20% discount on tickets for the awards evening and the preceding conference, which has attracted a whole host of speakers and panellists from the sustainable finance industry. A full list can be found here.

Simply quote the code FTBGT when booking your place.

See below for the full shortlist:

Sustainable Bank of the Year

– Africa/Middle East

Bank of Palestine, West Bank

BMCE Bank, Morocco

Standard Bank, South Africa

– Americas

Banco Santander Brasil, Brazil

Caixa Económica Federal, Brazil

Grupo Financiero Banorte, Mexico

– Asia/Pacific

Industrial Bank, China

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Japan

YES Bank, India

– Europe

Commercial Bank Center-Invest, Russia

GLS Bank, Germany

Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB)

Sustainable Global Bank of the Year

Banco Santander, Spain

Morgan Stanley, US

Standard Chartered, UK

Sustainable Investor of The Year

Aavishkaar Venture Management Services, India

Aloe Private Equity, UK

Bridges Ventures, UK

EcoEnterprises Fund, Costa Rica

Impax Asset Management, UK

LeapFrog Investments, Australia

Root Capital, US

Sustainable Investment of The Year

Actis, UK

Banco Itaú BBA, Brazil

M-KOPA, Kenya

Morgan Stanley, US

Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, Singapore

WHEB Partners, Germany

WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), UK

Technology In Sustainable Finance

Etisalat, UAE

FINO PayTech, India

Grupo Financiero Banorte, Mexico

M-KOPA, Kenya

Solarkiosk, Germany

Achievement in Inclusive Business

Alqueria Dairy, Colombia

Interswitch, Nigeria

Kenya Tea Development Agency

Manila Water, Philippines

Universitaria Minuto de Dios, Colombia

Further reading:

Speakers announced for FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Conference

Inspiring innovation in sustainable finance: FT/IFC Conference

FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards: the winners

The Guide to Sustainable Investment 2013


New Zealand to Switch to Fully Renewable Energy by 2035



renewable energy policy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Eviart /

New Zealand’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is already taking steps towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint. She signed a coalition deal with NZ First in October, aiming to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2035.

New Zealand is already one of the greenest countries in the world, sourcing over 80% of its energy for its 4.7 million people from renewable resources like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The majority of its electricity comes from hydro-power, which generated 60% of the country’s energy in 2016. Last winter, renewable generation peaked at 93%.

Now, Ardern is taking on the challenge of eliminating New Zealand’s remaining use of fossil fuels. One of the biggest obstacles will be filling in the gap left by hydropower sources during dry conditions. When lake levels drop, the country relies on gas and coal to provide energy. Eliminating fossil fuels will require finding an alternative source to avoid spikes in energy costs during droughts.

Business NZ’s executive director John Carnegie told Bloomberg he believes Ardern needs to balance her goals with affordability, stating, “It’s completely appropriate to have a focus on reducing carbon emissions, but there needs to be an open and transparent public conversation about the policies and how they are delivered.”

The coalition deal outlined a few steps towards achieving this, including investing more in solar, which currently only provides 0.1% of the country’s energy. Ardern’s plans also include switching the electricity grid to renewable energy, investing more funds into rail transport, and switching all government vehicles to green fuel within a decade.

Zero net emissions by 2050

Beyond powering the country’s electricity grid with 100% green energy, Ardern also wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal is very much in line with her focus on climate change throughout the course of her campaign. Environmental issues were one of her top priorities from the start, which increased her appeal with young voters and helped her become one of the youngest world leaders at only 37.

Reaching zero net emissions would require overcoming challenging issues like eliminating fossil fuels in vehicles. Ardern hasn’t outlined a plan for reaching this goal, but has suggested creating an independent commission to aid in the transition to a lower carbon economy.

She also set a goal of doubling the number of trees the country plants per year to 100 million, a goal she says is “absolutely achievable” using land that is marginal for farming animals.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson believes that phasing out fossil fuels should be a priority for the new prime minister. She says that in order to reach zero net emissions, Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar.”

A worldwide shift to renewable energy

Addressing climate change is becoming more of a priority around the world and many governments are assessing how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally-friendly energy sources. Sustainable energy is becoming an increasingly profitable industry, giving companies more of an incentive to invest.

Ardern isn’t alone in her climate concerns, as other prominent world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have made renewable energy a focus of their campaigns. She isn’t the first to set ambitious goals, either. Sweden and Norway share New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045 and 2030, respectively.

Scotland already sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to fully transition by 2020, while France announced plans in September to stop fossil fuel production by 2040. This would make it the first country to do so, and the first to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Many parts of the world still rely heavily on coal, but if these countries are successful in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable resources, it could serve as a turning point. As other world leaders see that switching to sustainable energy is possible – and profitable – it could be the start of a worldwide shift towards environmentally-friendly energy.


Continue Reading


How Going Green Can Save A Company Money



going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

Continue Reading