More environmental impact for every NOK lent
In parallel with our annual report, we launched our corporate social responsibility report and our environmental impact report for 2017 this week. These reports give investors and others detailed insight into our work on corporate social responsibility and sustainability, and show how the money that KBN borrows to finance environmentally friendly projects by issuing bonds (green bonds) finds its way into specific projects in the Norwegian local government sector. KBN is the only financial institution to offer a lower rate to municipalities and county authorities investing in sustainable projects (green loans). To qualify for a green loan from KBN, a project must be in line with Norway’s ambition of becoming a low-carbon society.
At the end of 2017 our outstanding lending to projects that satisfy our updated green bond framework totalled NOK 11.5 billion, up from NOK 10.2 billion at the end of 2016. In Båtsfjord in the county of Finnmark, the municipality is reducing the level of noise and emissions generated by what is one of Norway’s largest fishing harbours by providing the boats with mains electricity from wind power. In 2019, some 1,200 schoolchildren in Horten will become the first to attend a state-of-the-art school that produces more energy than it uses thanks to the 3,470 m2 of photovoltaic solar panels on its roof. Norway’s smallest municipality, Utsira, is saving up to 300,000 kWh a year by upgrading its municipal headquarters. These projects and 44 others were granted a green loan from KBN in 2017. The environmental impact of the projects we financed in 2017 is estimated to be 75% greater than in 2016 in terms of the annual savings and reductions in tonnes of CO2 equivalents they will deliver. These are pleasing figures that will motivate us to do even more in 2018.
KBN is Norway’s largest issuer of green bonds, and we are committed to leading the way in green finance and to driving investment in green projects. In 2017 we were elected to the Executive Committee of Green Bond Principles, which is the leading international industry standard for green bonds, and we have also collaborated with nine other Nordic issuers of green bonds to produce a joint reporting framework.