From green loans to sustainable supply chain finance, greener choices have become an integral part of financing decisions. SEK, Sweden’s export credit agency (ECA), says it gives ethics, social and environmental risks the same weighting as financial risks in its credit decisions. We speak to Helena Engnér Aili, senior sustainability analyst at SEK at the GTR Nordics event in Stockholm, to learn more.
Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) issued SKr2bn in new green loans last year, and while this is only a small portion of its overall new lending, it’s progress in the right direction. Lending issued to sustainable urban development projects alone was SKr1bn, hitting targets outlined for the year.
SEK conducts sustainability assessments in line with the OECD’s regulations and other international frameworks for export and project financing. In 2017, it adopted the Equator Principles, a risk management framework, used by financial institutions, for assessing environmental and social risk in project finance. SEK believes such guidelines, in particular the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are the way forward for its sustainability efforts.
In its most recent annual report, SEK details one project it financed which is classed as a ‘category A’ project under the Equator Principles, meaning that the ECA has performed an in-depth sustainability review and assessed the project as meeting international standards for impacts on the society and environment.
Together with Swedish banking group SEB, SEK is financing Nordic global construction and development company Skanska’s Rv3/Rv25 Ommangsvollen – Grundset/Basthjørnet NKr1.47bn (US$160mn) road project for borrower Hedmarksvegen. This is one of Norway’s largest road projects and is the first public-private partnership (PPP) project to be conducted in Norway for more than 10 years, says SEK. The project comprises a 16km four-lane motorway and a 9km two-lane highway that will improve the road connection between Oslo and Trondheim, particularly for road freight. The expected completion date for the project is the end of 2020. The project is to meet sustainability targets through CEEQUAL certification, an internationally recognised classification scheme for construction and infrastructure projects.
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