For years now, businesses operating beyond the borders of our country have been spending significant time and resources on the implementation of proactive measures to reduce their negative impact on the environment. They have strong support from financial institutions and in this manner, can ensure the sustainable development of the economy. In this regard, ProCredit Bank has a prominent position in Georgia, as it continuously shares its experience with the local market and provides those interested with access to the necessary finances.
Ketevan Kekelashvili, Head of ProCredit Bank’s Environmental Management Department, and Giorgi Zurashvili, EBRD’s GEFF Programme representative, give a comprehensive overview of what Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) offered by the German bank in Georgia means today and what opportunities it offers the market.
“The demand for green financing is increasing in Georgia. Work is being carried out actively today in both the local business sector and among citizens to raise awareness of this issue and to enable access to financial resources. We expect that interest in green investments will be even greater in the near future, since they offer tangible benefits to businesses. As for GEFF, it enables businesses and individuals to invest in energy and resource efficient, as well as renewable energy technologies. In addition to financial support, the Facility also offers its customers consulting services,” explains Ketevan Kekelashvili.
Giorgi Zurashvili talks about the two financing approaches of GEFF, the first of which is beneficial for those who already know what technology they would like to invest in. In this case, customers can access the Green Technology Selector, which lists high-performing technologies up to an amount of USD 300,000 (or the equivalent in other currencies) that have been pre-approved for GEFF financing. The other direction involves specific solutions that are not obvious or available under the simple “pre-approved” approach described above and involves free technical advice.
“It is essential to clarify what the Green Technology Selector is − it is an online platform that lists the green technologies that enables businesses and individuals to use resources efficiently and reduce costs. The client can choose what they need from the list, be it water heat pumps or electric cars, all without leaving the comfort of their home or office. Currently, the GTS contains up to 1,000 products from local suppliers and manufacturers,” Giorgi Zurashvili explains.
According to GEFF, several projects have already been successfully financed under the Facility. The finances allocated, along with the consulting services provided, helped the customer to make a “green” choice. Consequently, customers have increased their production and have saved costs. For example, LagodekhAvtoGza Ltd., a company involved in road construction and asphalt and cement production in Kakheti, increased its productivity and reduced the related costs with the help of green financing. As part of the financing, they also benefitted from a free technical consultation provided by the Facility along with financial resources. As a result of the investment, the company increased its production capacity by 55% compared to previous years. At the same time, it managed to save 156.67 MWh of energy per year, which reduced its anticipated annual costs by EUR 10,000.
“It is especially pleasing that with the acquisition of a new, energy-efficient plant, we will be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 62 tonnes per year, which means that our negative impact on the environment will also be lessened. Projects like these clearly show that with such investments it is possible to reach several goals simultaneously, which is beneficial not only for businesses, but also for each citizen and the country’s economy,” explains Givi Tsikarishvili, Founder of LagodekhiAvtoGza.
The Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) is made possible by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and has been implemented in Georgia through partner financial institutions since December 2019. It should be noted that ProCredit Bank Georgia was the first financial institution to finance the Georgian small and medium business sector using the Facility. The programme is supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Federal Ministry of Austria (BMF).
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