Nefco has achieved significant climate and environmental gains through green investments in more than 1,500 projects. Since 1990, more than 600 Nordic growth companies have received financing through Nefco to scale up their green technologies in global markets. Nefco is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the launch of its new strategy.

30 years as the Nordic Green Bank
In 1990, the Nordic countries showed their bold and ambitious approach to environmental issues by establishing Nefco, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation. Its purpose is to finance Nordic green solutions and support Nordic SMEs to internationalise and scale up their businesses worldwide.

”Nefco’s ambition is not to be a large finance institution but to be a forerunner in green financing,” says Trond Moe, Nefco’s Managing Director. ”We assess the potential positive environmental effects as well as the potential for growth and scale-up. Coupled with our ability to take financial risk, this means that we often can accelerate projects and make them bankable much earlier.”

New strategy for 2021-2025

Nefco is now launching its new strategy to accelerate the shift to green.

“Nefco will increasingly focus on financing green projects by Nordic SMEs that aim to go international. These companies often find it hard to get scale-up funding, but we can support them by taking a higher financial risk – if there’s a green upside,” Trond Moe explains.

”We will also continue our activities in Eastern Europe, where we mainly focus on financing municipal projects to modernise district heating, improve energy efficiency and prevent pollution.”

“Our third area of activities are environmental and climate fund assignments on behalf of the Nordic governments and others, with initiatives ranging from the Arctic to Africa,” Moe continues.

Projects are evaluated using Nefco’s own and some initiative’s specific environmental and sustainability criteria. Since 2020, as part of the new strategy, projects are also classified according to the EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities.

Three key focus areas

Nefco has structured its current activities in three main focus areas with the goal to accelerate the green transition:

  • Financing for Nordic SMEs for international scale-up
  • Municipal financing in Eastern Europe
  • Fund management for Nordic government initiatives. This includes projects in the Arctic, Barents and Baltic Sea regions, and a new programme for clean energy in Sub-Saharan Africa, Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa.

Impact highlights

  • 1,568 projects since 1990
  • 120 new projects agreed in 2020
  • 381 active projects at the end of 2020
  • On average 80% less nutrient pollutants (phosphorus and nitrogen) after completed wastewater treatment projects
  • On average 47% savings in electricity usage and 38% in energy usage after completed energy-efficiency projects (in Eastern Europe)
  • On average 50% CO2 reduction after completed energy-efficiency projects (in Eastern Europe)
  • Since 2008, Nefco’s two carbon funds have contributed to a reduction of 29.5 million tonnes of CO2 through Certified Emissions Reductions

The new strategy, which comes into effect in 2021, has set new focus areas and revised Nefco’s environmental priorities towards 2025. The new strategy was presented at an online event on 18 March. The event brought together policy makers, thinkers and business leaders from the Nordic countries and the EU to look into key drivers and motivators for green transition, as well as obstacles of which to be aware. See more details at www.nefco.int/Anniversary.

Read full Nefco Strategy 2021-25

For further information, please contact:

Josefin Hoviniemi, Vice President Communications, Nefco
josefin.hoviniemi@nefco.int, +358 50 464 6995

Trond Moe, Managing Director, Nefco
Trond.moe@nefco.int, +358 10 618 0662

About Nefco

Nefco is an international financial institution that finances the initial scale-up of Nordic green solutions on global markets. Founded in 1990 by the five Nordic countries, Nefco is the Nordic Green Bank – a financial institution that provides only green financing. Nefco has financed and implemented over 1,500 projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean water and sanitation, waste management, and cleaner industrial processes, among others. To date, more than 600 Nordic growth companies have received financing from Nefco to scale up their green technologies and solutions on global markets. We serve the interests of our owners, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and take concrete actions to accelerate the green transition. Read more about us on www.nefco.int.