Staff Writer

Bank Windhoek this week published its first Green Impact Report. The Report details projects that received funding from its NSX listed Green Bond proceeds and highlights the core environmental impact indicators on a project level basis.

The impact indicators according to the bank are derived from the bank’s Green Bond Framework and the International Capital Market Association’s Green Bond Principles.

Green Bonds are one of the most prominent capital raising innovations in the area of sustainable finance over the past decade and the majority of applications for green financing was for solar energy projects to generate electricity to add to the national grid and to assist companies to become self-reliant in their energy needs.

“In Namibia, we continuously see the impact of global warming and the effects of climate change on our local environment and businesses. Bank Windhoek also aligns its business practices and sustainability performance to the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as set out by the United Nations and more specifically, aims to address Goal 6, which addresses Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 7, focussed on Affordable and Clean Energy, Goal 11, aimed at attaining Sustainable cities and Communities and Goal 13, dealing with Climate Action. The projects financed with the Green Bond funding facility focused on solar electricity generation which directly addresses goals 7 and 13,” said Bank Windhoek’s Sustainability and Deal Origination manager, Ruan Bestbier.

He added, “We are proud of the seven solar photovoltaic projects that were successfully financed with the N$66 million raised within 12 months after the initial Green Bond issuance and this initiative was an excellent learning experience for the Bank’s staff and clients involved.Our Investors were unanimously agreed that the Green Bond should be seen as an important tool for creating awareness amongst the public on the links between sustainable development and favourable finance.”

“It is clear that there is no shortage of bankable green projects in the Namibian market, despite the impact of COVID-19 global pandemic which placed some stress on existing and new developments.”

Namibian Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer, Tiaan Bazuin stated that “Bank Windhoek’s Green Bond is listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange (NSX) and complies with the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, a United Nations (UN) Partnership Programme of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Global Compact, which aims to build the capacity of stock exchanges and securities market regulators to promote responsible investment and advance the sustainable practices of companies.”

Bank Windhoek’s Chief Treasurer ,Claire Hobbs, said, “the Bank Windhoek Green Bond is the result of individuals within the Bank who are passionate about the work they do, protecting the environment and contributing toward the wellbeing of the country in which we do business and in this aspect our Treasury team have gone beyond the call of duty and set an example of what is possible.”

. “Moreover, given the global need for an urgent transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy and sustainable economic development, financial markets play an integral role in driving investments in climate-friendly projects.”

Bank Windhoek’s Managing Director Baronice Hans said, “the Green Bond was a milestone for Bank Windhoek and Capricorn Group, which unequivocally set the tone of our commitment to sustainable finance and to the growth of renewable energy generation both locally and regionally. We believe that the Green Bond enabled us to meet our clients’ sustainability requirements by creating a complete value chain from raising green funding to offering favourable green loans with favourable terms aimed at contributing to a low-carbon and client resilient future. I want to thank all our partners in making Southern Africa’s first Green Bond such a success.”

Bank Windhoek issued a Green Bond to international acclaim when it listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange during December 2018 and the achievement positions Bank Windhoek as the first commercial Bank to issue a Green Bond not only domestically but across the Southern African region.