The EBRD is considering launching a €50 million Agribusiness Sustainable Investment Facility (the ‘Facility’) to capture the commercial benefit of energy efficiency, environmental and social investments in the agribusiness sector.
The Bank hopes to extend the positive experience it has gained in energy efficiency investing to a wider range of environmental and social issues, including small-scale renewable energy, health and safety improvements, implementation of sustainable farming and energy efficiency in the built environment.
The Facility will enable client companies to implement investment programmes that reduce their input intensity and improve their environmental and social performance, leading to improved sustainability in the agribusiness sector.
The Facility will be also supported by technical cooperation (TC) funding of approximately €1 million for technical, financial and legal due diligence. This technical cooperation has been sought to overcome current barriers to sustainable investments in the sector.
The project will demonstrate the impact of efficient energy technologies and techniques in improving industrial productivity and competitiveness in the agribusiness sectors of the EBRD region.
They will also demonstrate the commercial viability of investing in environmental and social sustainability. Rationalising companies’ input and emission intensity will contribute to emissions reduction in the sector.
The Facility will generate sector-specific know-how in implementing sustainable investments. Once generated, this know-how could be replicated both locally and across borders.
Approximately ten agribusiness enterprises legally incorporated in any of the Bank’s countries of operation.
Within the €50 million funding envelope, investments may be of any size. Both debt and equity financing will be available.
Categorised B. Given its aims, it is anticipated that the overall environmental impact of this project will be very positive. Sub-projects financed through this Facility will be appraised on a case-by-case basis. The Bank will take a risk-based approach to environmental due diligence with all projects undergoing an environment, health and safety review prior to project approval. For companies with higher environmental and /or social risk, additional studies will be carried out with assistance from external consultants. These will allow the Bank to fully understand all environment-related liabilities and environmental and social risks associated with the project or company’s operations and to develop and agree upon the environmental and social action plan as required. Borrowers will be required to comply with the applicable national and EU environmental, health and safety requirements and provide the Bank with an annual report on environmental, health and safety issues.
Technical cooperation support for this operation has been provided by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund in the amount of € 750,000 to cover
1) Legal TC funding and
2) Financial due diligence funding as necessary, including IFRS audit.
Additional Technical cooperation has been funded through the Regional Energy Audit Programme for the Corporate Sector funded by the CEI, ETC Fund, Germany, Italy, EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility, WB Fund and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.
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