EBRD celebrates clients’ commitment to sustainability

By Dylan Bell

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Lithuania’s Auga Group wins the Sustainable Energy Gold Award for their commitment to the circular economy

  • EBRD’s annual Sustainability Award winners announced
  • Twelve clients honoured for their excellent sustainability work
  • Recognises businesses that excel in four categories

Twelve businesses that have made outstanding contributions toward promoting environmental and social sustainability will be honoured with awards at the EBRD’s 28th Annual Meeting in Bosnia and Herzegovina today. The awards ceremony will be preceded by the launch of the EBRD’s latest Sustainability Report.

Sustainability is at the heart of the EBRD’s operations and these awards recognise the businesses the Bank works with that have made a commitment to ensuring sustainability is also a key priority in their operations. After receiving 52 nominations, 12 projects were selected across the four categories this year for the gold, silver and bronze awards.

The winner of this year’s Sustainable Energy Gold Award is Lithuania’s Auga Group AB. The organic agriculture company is a sustainability leader in the country and they have incorporated an innovative closed-loop circular process into their production cycle. The company is also introducing biogas production to reduce gasoil consumption and to prevent 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

In the Climate Resilience category, Turkmenistan’s Hosh Zaman Greenhouses will take home the Gold Award. Operating a small agricultural business in an extremely arid country poses its own risks, but Hoşzaman have taken the impacts of climate change into account and become more competitive as a result. They have introduced hydroponic greenhouses, a highly efficient technology that allows them to grow tomato plants without the use of soil and with reduced water consumption, saving the equivalent of 34 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water per year.

Turkish electricity distribution company TREDAS and its parent company IC Ictas Elektrik Ticaret A.S. took home the Gold Award for Environmental & Social Best Practice. After realising its female employment levels were very low with only one per cent in technical roles and 12 percent in engineering roles, TREDAS initiated an innovative outreach and training programme and revised their hiring policies. The company has since recorded an increase in the number of women in technical roles from four to 25 per cent in one year, becoming a clear role model for other businesses in the country.

For Environmental & Social Innovation, the Gold Award goes to Turkey’s Women in Business (TurWiB) programme client Türk Ekonomi Bankasi (TEB). Through the Bank’s TurWiB programme, TEB’s total women-led small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) loan portfolio has reached nearly €214 million in volume with more than 42,000 women-led small businesses. TEB is a prime example of how increasing access to finance, markets, mentoring and information can help address the many barriers to growth for women-owned and operated SMEs.

The following companies won silver and bronze prizes:

The Silver Winners

Sustainable Energy: BUTEC Utility Services S.A.L.

Climate Resilience: Republican State Enterprise (RGP) Kazvodhoz

Environmental & Social Best Practice: Olam Progida

Environmental & Social Innovation: Ege Profil Ticaret ve Sanayi A.Ş.

The Bronze Winners

Sustainable Energy: Syvashenergoprom LLC; NBT As & Total Eren

Climate Resilience: Joint Stock Company (JSC) Uzbekenergo

Environmental & Social Best Practice: Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources Irrigation & Egyptian Ministry of Local Development

Environmental & Social Innovation: Amundi Asset Management

The annual awards are organised by the EBRD to spotlight achievements in the field, offering the Bank the opportunity to recognise businesses that shine at innovation, best practices, sustainability leading and capacity building.

The 2019 judges were Gulbin Bekit, CFO of Akfen Holding, which have sponsored the Sustainability Awards for the past six years; Mark Hurley, head of environmental at international consulting company WSP; Geoff Lane, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC); and Ian Brown, the EBRD’s Sarajevo head of office.

The EBRD promotes environmental and social sustainability through investments in projects, financial intermediaries and technical cooperation programmes.

Photos from the awards ceremony will be available later this afternoon on EBRD’s Flickr account.

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