The EBRD is launching a new Sustainable Resource Initiative (SRI) to promote efficiency and innovation in three areas vital for its countries of operations: energy, water and materials.
The umbrella initiative builds on the success of the Bank’s existing Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) and will adopt the same approach to water and materials efficiency.
As with SEI, the new initiative will combine financing, technical assistance and policy dialogue and focus on the private sector to champion efficiency and sustainable use.
Rapid growth in demand for resources, volatile prices and growing environmental concerns including the impacts of climate change have made resource efficiency a global priority. The SRI is the EBRD’s response to the challenge.
“The EBRD has been a leader in energy efficiency financing and an active force in cutting carbon emissions through energy efficiency across a broad range of sectors,” said Josué Tanaka, its Managing Director for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change.
“As climate concerns are on the rise again, that work remains as important as ever and we will continue to be a world leader in that field.
“Building on the experience and concrete results achieved under SEI, we now have the opportunity to apply this effective business model to enhance water and materials efficiency.”
The EBRD has invested more than €11 billion in over 600 sustainable energy projects since it launched SEI in 2006. The reduction of emissions from completed projects so far is estimated at 55 million tons, more than Sweden emits in a year.
The EBRD is active in 34 countries across central and eastern Europe, central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean, some of them among the most ‘water-stressed’ and vulnerable to climate change in the world. Many also lag significantly behind the EU in waste management.
The EBRD will work to facilitate market penetration of water-efficient technologies by end users and to build markets for rational water use through better regulation.
To boost Materials Efficiency it will work with companies to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.