KENYA –  KCB Bank Group has announced that it has issued a KSh336 billion (US$2.77bn) in green loans over the last one-year to support projects that protect the environment.

Transition to green financing helped push the bank’s green loan book portfolio from 4 per cent in 2020, to 8.4 per cent in 2021.

Sectors invested heavily include real estate, renewable energy, transport, manufacturing and agriculture.

The bank targets to increase its green portfolio to 25 per cent by 2025.

“KCB has long understood the risk climate change poses to our communities. But with that risk, also comes opportunity such as providing capital to breakthrough new technologies, helping to finance the increased adoption of resource efficiency, renewable energy and supporting the infrastructure that will make our communities more resilient,” KCB Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Russo said.

“The bank will use its original scale, reach and influence to deploy capital to help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy.”

Amid climatic changes, demand for environmental-friendly credit solutions has been rising, opening a huge window for banks to tap.

In October 2022, KCB and International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed a partnership to support more businesses addressing climatic changes.

IFC agreed to extend a KSh18.16 billion (US$150 million) loan to KCB to fund the growth of the bank’s climate finance portfolio.

“While there is still much more to do, our significant increase in sustainable activities demonstrates our commitment and ability to lead by example and drive social and environmental change,” said Russo.

“Progressively, we are making tangible and meaningful progress towards achieving a more sustainable future. We do this because we believe that the market will ultimately reward purpose–driven companies that have responsible business practices and take a long–term view of the current global problems.”

In its latest Sustainability Report, the lender said that it had helped cut carbon footprint by 11.5 per cent, coming at a time when the firm seeks to reduce environmental pollution.

According to a report titled Progressive Action for Sustainable Development, the bank’s resource consumption fell 17 per cent as the firm cut the use of fuel, water, electricity and paper.

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