ING Bank today announced the launch of the Sustainable Finance Collective (SFC) Asia in partnership with Global Initiatives at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development taking place in Singapore on 22-24 November 2016.
An industry first for the region, SFC Asia aims to accelerate the funding of sustainability projects in the areas of circular economy, sustainable energy and positive social impact in Asia. It will provide financing access through a platform comprising a Funding Panel that includes Credit Suisse, FMO, ING Bank and the UNDP-UN Social Impact Fund. The Funding Panel will offer access to a range of capital including debt, equity and/or mezzanine, guarantees, currency and commercial covers. This platform will enable sustainability proposals to access financial solutions that are traditionally not offered under one roof.
The SFC Asia also hopes to encourage organizations to transition their businesses towards increased sustainability by providing support and advisory from an Expert Panel comprising technical consultants, environmental consultants and experts in social and environmental impact assessment. The Expert Panel will help companies to fine-tune their sustainability projects to improve their chances of qualifying for funding from the Collective. This panel will include members of the Funding Panel, Atkins Acuity, Clifford Chance and Sustainalytics.
“Sustainability for ING is a key pillar to achieving our purpose of empowering people and businesses to stay a step ahead. We want to encourage businesses to become more sustainable and we hope to see applications for game-changing sustainability projects that will have a positive impact in Asia,” said Gerrit Stoelinga, CEO for ING Wholesale Banking Asia.
Applications can be submitted online via the SFCA website which is expected to go live next month. To be considered, projects will have to cover one of the three sustainability themes: circular economy, sustainable energy or social impact. Circular economy and sustainable energy projects require a funding minimum of USD 15 million, while Social Impact projects require a funding minimum of USD 5 million. Projects will be evaluated on a project-by-project basis by the Funding and Expert Panels.
“Global Initiatives is proud to be a program partner for the launch of the Sustainable Finance Collective Asia at the Responsible Business Forum, United Nations’ first business forum on the Sustainable Development Goals in Asia. These innovative ways of providing access to finance can encourage the business community to champion sustainability projects in the region,” said Tony Gourlay, CEO, Global Initiatives, Responsible Business Forum