Raising the bar for what Nefco considers green in its financing activities

Nefco, the Nordic Green Bank, has updated its Environmental and Sustainability Policy and Guidelines. To clarify what can be considered green and sustainable, the policy sets out the commitments, principles and obligations applicable to Nefco’s financing activities and internal operations. The policy also includes a list of exclusions, i.e. types of projects that Nefco cannot finance due to them not being regarded sustainable. The guidelines describe how Nefco assesses the environmental and sustainability aspects of the projects it finances. 

The new policy reflects Nordic priorities and Nefco’s strategy to accelerate the green transition and to increasingly support concrete actions towards achieving carbon neutrality and a sustainable circular and biodiversity-positive economy.

One objective is to increase the portfolio’s share of the EU Taxonomy alignment and set clear boundaries on which activities Nefco is not willing to commit to. The exclusion list included in the policy is the first of its kind for Nefco. The list comprises exclusions related to fossil fuel, forestry and husbandry, as well as ethical, legal and convention matters.

Katariina Vartiainen, Senior Manager of Environment and Sustainability at Nefco: “The previous Sustainability Policy was from 2013, and even though Nefco has provided green financing and analysed the environmental and sustainability aspects of its financing activities for more than 30 years, it was time to update the policy to reflect and document today’s priorities.”

Guidelines for applicants and project owners

The Environmental and Sustainability Guidelines give a more detailed view on how we assess project proposals and verify the results both during and after the implementation of the projects.

The sustainability assessment covers not only the activity financed but also how sustainability is embedded throughout the client’s organisation. We aim, through dialogue, to elevate and increase understanding of sustainability aspects in the client’s organisation and to support effective implementation and management of its green projects.

“Our common vision is that all financing should be green. We are a truly transformational green bank that shall expect more than return on investment: we shall expect return on impact,” Vartiainen concludes.

Nefco’s task is to accelerate the green transition and work towards carbon neutrality and a sustainable, circular and biodiversity-positive economy. Nefco’s financing activities contribute to the global Agenda 2030 via the universal Sustainable Development Goals, the EU Green Deal and the Nordic Vision 2030.

For further information, please contact:

Katariina Vartiainen, Senior Manager, Environment & Sustainability, Nefco
katariina.vartiainen@nefco.int, +358 10 618 0377

Josefin Hoviniemi, VP Communications, Nefco
josefin.hoviniemi@nefco.int, +358 50 4646995

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