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Financial Institutions are the Engines of a Green Economy

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The pillars of a Green Economy can only be established if willing donors are available and a suitable funding strategy is in place. According to the “Green Economy Report” of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), an investment of 2 % of the annual global GDP is necessary in order to enable the fundamental transition towards a greener economy based on sustainability and resource conservation. However, large sums of money continue to be poured into unsustainable projects. These are mostly planned for short term benefits, where the ecological and social consequences of their actions are not taken into account.

In order to change this, as early as 2003 the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) initiated a global partnership with institutions in the private financial sectors. Now, almost a decade later over 200 financial organisations from several global sectors, including banking, insurance and investments, are members of the Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The aim of the initiative is to integrate environmental protection and sustainability into the services of the financial sectors and to encourage investing in green technology. According to UNEP, 2 % of global GDP is needed to make a significant difference.

The German Investment Corporation (DEG), a sister company of the KfW, has shown how financial institutes can invest successfully in sustainable initiatives while at the same time earn money. The DEG is committed to entrepreneurial initiatives in developing and emerging nations that observe environmental and social standards and whose work has a positive impact on locally-implemented development policies.

Sekem is known as the first “social business” in Egypt. Through its involvement with DEG it has become the market leader in organic agriculture and an employer of 2,000 people. Sekem’s Managing Director, Helmy Abouleish, and Manuela Marques from DEG will talk about their experiences at this year’s sustainability conference, SusCon 2012, which will take place on November 27th-28th in the UN city, Bonn.

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