KCB Group dishes out Sh35b green loans

Thursday, August 26th, 2021 00:00 | By
KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara.

Growing appetite for sustainable financing saw firms make calls worth Sh98.1 billion in green loans from KCB Group in 2020.

The group’s green loan disbursement statistics for last year shows that corporates gobbled up Sh16.2 billion of green loans while SMEs took up Sh18.8 billion, bringing the total green lending to Sh35 billion.

The lender, recently named winner of Outstanding Leadership in Sustainable Loans in Africa category, during the inaugural Global Finance Sustainable Finance Awards 2021 says it screened loans worth Sh98.1 billion through its environmental and social risk due diligence efforts.

Climate change

“This highlights our commitment to integrate social and environmental management systems into our operations and our book portfolio and the measures we have adopted to mitigate the effect of climate change,’’ said KCB Group chief executive and managing director Joshua Oigara in a statement.

The chief executive said banks had set the benchmark on how adaptation to meet social, environmental, and financial goals for close to a decade.

“We will continue to improve our practices and support our clients and suppliers in their climate transition, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,’’ Oigara said.

Put simply, net zero means not adding new emissions to the atmosphere by going green. This is a clarion call which is gaining traction globally as the developed countries also mull putting more money in green projects.

“I am not surprised. Lenders are also studying people’s perception in the sense that many people don’t want to be associated with ‘dirty projects’,” said Albert Onyango, a finance lecturer at the United States International University-Africa (Usiu-Africa). 

In July, Standard Chartered released a Carbon Dated report indicating that multinationals have mooted a transition plan which entails denying local suppliers business if they do not go green. Kenya risks losing up to $3.9 billion (Sh421.8 billion) worth of exports in the new move.

In what appears to be a carrot and stick approach to force compliance, a $1.6 trillion (Sh173 trillion) economy is being dangled to compliant suppliers.

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