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Success stories

Below find examples of businesses that have begun to invest in steps to reduce their emissions.

TACOFINO and VANCITY

Advisory services and loan

 

Tacofino, a restaurant based in British Columbia, Canada, was looking to reduce its emissions when opening a second restaurant in Vancouver. Through Vancity, Canada’s largest credit union and a sustainable finance leader, Tacofino secured a $350,000 loan from the credit union’s Canada Small Business Financing Loan. This went towards investing in new and more efficient equipment as well as renovating the site.
Vancity also provided advisory services to the business as it looked to green its operations. This included Vancity Green Business Manager, Maureen Cureton, connecting Tacofino with Recycling Alternative, which helps businesses reduce carbon emissions from organic waste and truck fuel.

“We have a truly holistic partnership with Vancity and it’s something I’ve never experienced before with a financial institution. Maureen has been so important to us in terms of building our community of like-minded stakeholders and suppliers,”

said Ryan Spong, Tacofino partner.

“Instead of doing something and expecting an immediate return, we look to build strong, local, green economies that benefit everyone,”

said Maureen Cureton.

“That can only be done by businesses working together. You can’t compete with big business and its economies of scale unless you can work collectively. It’s a relationship economy of organizations that share values and trust each other. Because so many of them already bank with Vancity, we have lots of opportunities to make connections that can really make a difference.”

panels

DAVID LUKE and HSBC

Green loan

In early 2021, David Luke, a UK-based school uniform provider, installed a 1,000-panel solar PV system with the help of an HSBC Green Loan. The six-figure loan came from the bank’s sustainable finance initiative dedicated to support sustainability projects in SMEs and mid-market companies.
The 295kW rooftop solar PV system, installed by local roofing and renewables company Environmental Roofing Services, is expected to save up to 3,600 tonnes of carbon emissions over its 25-year lifespan.

“These solar panels support our long-term sustainability targets, but the investment will also see financial returns, with the solar roof expected to pay for itself in cost savings after only seven to eight years,”

said Kathryn Shuttleworth, Managing Director at the David Luke Group.

HSBC’s Green Loan is one of several green lending initiatives now being delivered by major banks to support investment in sustainability.

hands

TESCO and SANTANDER

Sustainability-linked supply chain finance

 

In an effort to address the GHG emissions throughout its value chain, Tesco launched a sustainable supply chain initiative to encourage and support its suppliers by providing financing linked to sustainability performance. The initiative builds on The Tesco Supplier Network, which supports over 10,000 suppliers from different sectors to share best practices.

“In this critical year for climate action, we’re delighted to be able to offer thousands of suppliers access to market-leading supply chain finance linked to sustainability,”

said Tesco’s Chief Product Officer, Ashwin Prasad.

“This program not only provides suppliers with a real incentive to set science-based emissions reduction targets; it will help embed sustainability goals throughout our supply chain and support the UK in realizing its climate change targets.” 

Tesco is also partnering with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to support suppliers in setting sustainability targets. Participating suppliers will have access to preferential financing rates from Santander. The rates will be pegged to the supplier’s carbon data disclosure, emissions reduction targets and progress towards reaching those goals.
These financial incentives are aimed particularly at SMEs, so they can harness the improved financing rates from Santander to further support their environmental performance. Tesco has pledged to provide a suite of online tools to support suppliers, especially SMEs, in enrolling and participating in the programme.

people

GUCCI and INTESA SANPAOLO

Green loans for suppliers

Annually, Gucci publishes the total environmental footprint of their suppliers. In response to challenges experienced by their supply chain partners in accessing funds to advance sustainability in their own operations, Gucci has partnered with the Italian bank, Intesa Sanpaolo. Together they are supporting SMEs in Gucci’s supply chain to access loans at favourable terms and conditions if the supplier improves the sustainability of its operations. This includes improved invoicing terms.
Gucci and Intesa Sanpaolo aligned this initiative with the Italian Government’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), which prioritises energy efficiency, green transport, renewable energy, circularity and gender equality.

“This is an important step because only together—public and private sectors, large companies and SMEs—can we reach the critical goals for society and for Italy advocated by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan,”

said Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci.

Since the launch of this financing initiative over €230 million in loans has been extended to over 150 SME suppliers.

women

McCORMICK, CITI AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION

Sustainability-linked supply chain finance

In August 2021, American multinational food company McCormick & Company announced a partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Citi to provide its suppliers with financial incentives linked to sustainability improvements. The initiative offers discounted rates on short-term working capital to suppliers that meet McCormick’s sustainability standards. These standards cover issues such as labour conditions, environmental impact, crop management and women’s empowerment. The higher the supplier’s performance level in meeting these standards, the more they save.

“Promoting sustainable business starts with clear incentives,” said Rana Karadsheh, IFC Director of Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services for Asia and Pacific. “That’s why we’re proud to support McCormick’s sustainability goals and build upon IFC’s sustainability goals and work with them to enhance IFC’s trade finance offering. Such initiatives help make sustainable business good business for emerging market players.”

The partnership is part of IFC’s Global Trade Supplier Finance (GTSF) programme, a $500 million multicurrency investment and advisory programme established in 2010. GTSF provides short-term financing to small and midsized suppliers in emerging markets selling to large domestic buyers or exporting to international buyers, by discounting invoices once they are approved by the buyer. The financing rates can be linked to sustainability measures to minimise impacts on the environment and promote climate-resilient agriculture practices, while connecting smallholders to global markets.

“Rewarding our suppliers to incentivize sustainability performance enables us to further accelerate our journey toward achieving our Purpose-led Performance sourcing commitments,”

said Donald Pratt, Chief Spice Buyer and Managing Director, McCormick Global Ingredients Limited. (Source: IFC)

men

BESTCOAT and OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORPORATION (OCBC)

Green loan

Not long after Mr Ang Sim Tat founded Bestcoat, which creates waterproofing products, the Singapore-based company experienced a traumatic event, jumpstarting their sustainability journey.

“The chemicals we used back then emitted fumes with a greenish hue when burned. One of our workers passed out as a result. We immediately began sourcing alternatives for the safety of our employees. This incident also got me thinking about how these fumes must be detrimental to the ozone layer. It motivated our team to look for better products. Now, over 90% of the products we use are environmentally friendly and better for our workers too,”

said Mr Ang Sim Tat.

When it came time to expand its operations and facilities, Bestcoat wanted to ensure it did so as sustainably as possible, something also important to its customers. To do this, it was able to secure a green loan by leveraging the OCBC SME Sustainable Finance Framework.

“Our client has certain requirements when it comes to the materials and processes used to execute this project. Sustainability and the environment are important to them. Our ability to obtain a green loan was able to provide them with that assurance,” said Mr Ang Sim Tat.

By utilising a green loan, Bestcoat was able not only to secure the required financing, but also assure its customers of its green credentials. Green loans provide financing for ‘green’ projects, such as renewable energy, green buildings, pollution control, the circular economy and similar. While the loans often include additional verifications and steps, securing a green loan will mean that the credibility of the borrower’s sustainability commitments has been verified.

car

GROUP V and BNP PARIBAS

Green loan

Group V is over 100 years old and still run by the family that created it. The company specialises in transportation for liquid foods – wine, milk and derivatives, juice, alcohol, glucose, oil and chocolate. Recently, Group V made strides in improving the quality of its food safety programme to ensure less food waste, especially within the specialised area of organic products.

The company also set its sights on achieving major GHG reductions – the majority of which are concentrated in its fleet – by converting to zero direct emissions vehicles. Shortly before this, BNP Paribas adapted its banking products and services to the priorities of the EU Taxonomy, which encourages investment in sustainable activities. Consequently, Group V was able to secure a preferential instrument (green loan) with more favourable terms through BNP Paribas by aligning its objectives with those of the EU Taxonomy in its application:

  • increasing the number of low and zero emission vehicles and improving vehicle efficiency
  • increasing substitution of fossil fuels with sustainable alternative and net zero carbon fuels.

Since receiving the loan, Group V has used 40% of the loan on bioethanol trucks and 50% on bioethanol semi-trailers.

In addition to transitioning its fleet, Group V has implemented a strong environmental approach to its entire operations, including closely monitoring its fuel consumption, choosing sustainable tyres, training its drivers in eco-driving, optimising travel by using geolocation and developing a transportation alternative to road, such as tank containers using modal road–rail transfer.

Group V expects that these changes will help it keep pace with the EU’s sustainability regulations, as well as meaningfully contribute to the EU’s achievement of its 2030 climate and energy targets.

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BAR ONE CLOTHING / ZERO WASTE SCOTLAND

Green grants and loans

Bar One Clothing was launched in 1982 as a garment wholesaler. Since then, they have grown their operations to employ 30 people and specialise beyond wholesale, into screen printing, embroidery, transfers and garment finishing. Today, Bar One counts Sony, Disney, the BBC and many others among its clients.

Over the past 32 years, environmental performance and sustainability have become increasingly important to consumers, priorities that Bar One has taken a keen interest in meeting. Bar One had already begun offering a range of organic and Fairtrade items in response to the requirements of its clients. Bar One became interested in looking even closer at its own operations: the energy efficiency of its 45-year-old facilities in Scotland, comprised of a reception and production area, offices and a warehouse.

As a Scottish business that falls within the EU definition of an SME, Bar One contacted the Scottish Government about its Zero Waste Scotland programme. The programme provides cashback grants of up to £20,000, as well as loans up to £100,000 to help SMEs pay for energy and carbon reduction solutions.

Working with advisers in the programme, Bar One identified several energy and carbon reduction opportunities within its operations, including the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting, a low-voltage distribution board, occupancy sensors to control lighting and the installation of rubber strip curtains to seal spaces more efficiently, eliminating the need for electric heaters.

Bar One secured an interest-free SME loan through the Zero Waste Scotland programme, enabling the business to implement these recommendations. Together the recommendations would cost £13,500 to implement and would save the business £1,900 a year on their energy bills, while reducing GHG emissions by an estimated 9.5 tons.

Potential sources of financial support – summary table

Stakeholder

Motivation for providing financial support

Examples of what financial support might be available

Examples of who you could speak with to learn if support offered

Customers (buyers)

  • Climate commitments by companies that include reducing the emissions of their supply chain
  • Improve the resilience of their supply chain to new policies aimed to avert climate change or the negative impacts of climate change
  • Protect supply chain from increased costs associated with carbon, such as ‘dirty’ energy
  • Improved purchasing terms (eg, days receivable reduced so working capital improves for small business)
  • Access to preferential invoice finance (eg, borrow against outstanding purchase orders to access funds sooner)
  • Advice and mentoring
  • Procurement representative

Banks

  • Commitments by banks to support customers to reduce emissions
  • Reduce the risk and carbon footprint of bank lending
  • Strengthen relationships and generate business opportunitie
  • Working capital solutions, e.g. trade finance
  • Loans for investments that reduce emissions
  • Emission calculators and advice
  • Relationship manager
  • Sector specialist (eg, transport)

Grants and other forms of government support

  • Local, national and international objectives for action on climate change
  • Grants to encourage investment in emissions reduction
  • Discounted lending distributed by a development bank, such as KfW
  • Access to investors or other sources of funds dedicated to climate action
  • Accountant
  • Local council enterprise officer
  • Local municipality
  • Bank
  • NGOs offering financial support in your area

Balance sheet and investors

  • Lower operational expenditures
  • Improve the commercial positioning of the business (eg, including alignment with buyers’ climate-related procurement policies)
  • Investors’ climate objectives
  • Self-funded from balance sheet (cash, asset sales, etc.)
  • New shareholder investment (equity)
  • Accountant
  • Current shareholders
  • Prospective investors

Customers (buyers)

Motivation for providing financial support

  • Climate commitments by companies that include reducing the emissions of their supply chain
  • Improve the resilience of their supply chain to new policies aimed to avert climate change or the negative impacts of climate change
  • Protect supply chain from increased costs associated with carbon, such as ‘dirty’ energy

Examples of what financial support might be available

  • Improved purchasing terms (eg, days receivable reduced so working capital improves for small business)
  • Access to preferential invoice finance (eg, borrow against outstanding purchase orders to access funds sooner)
  • Advice and mentoring

Examples of who you could speak with to learn if support offered

  • Procurement representative

Banks

Motivation for providing financial support

  • Commitments by banks to support customers to reduce emissions
  • Reduce the risk and carbon footprint of bank lending
  • Strengthen relationships and generate business opportunitie

Examples of what financial support might be available

  • Working capital solutions, e.g. trade finance
  • Loans for investments that reduce emissions
  • Emission calculators and advice

Examples of who you could speak with to learn if support offered

  • Relationship manager
  • Sector specialist (eg, transport)

Grants and other government support

Motivation for providing financial support

  • Local, national and international objectives for action on climate change

Examples of what financial support might be available

  • Grants to encourage investment in emissions reduction
  • Discounted lending distributed by a development bank, such as KfW
  • Access to investors or other sources of funds dedicated to climate action

Examples of who you could speak with to learn if support offered

  • Accountant
  • Local council enterprise officer
  • Local municipality
  • Bank
  • NGOs offering financial support in your area

Balance sheet and existing or prospective investors

Motivation for providing financial support

  • Lower operational expenditures
  • Improve the commercial positioning of the business (eg, including alignment with buyers’ climate-related procurement policies)
  • Investors’ climate objectives

Examples of what financial support might be available

  • Self-funded from balance sheet (cash, asset sales, etc.)
  • New shareholder investment (equity)

Examples of who you could speak with to learn if support offered

  • Accountant
  • Current shareholders
  • Prospective investors