Promoting resource efficiency in the private sector
Innovative, resource-efficient production methods enable firms to lower costs, e.g. for power and water. Businesses with more efficient production methods have a better credit standing and become more attractive to banks. This benefits not only the economy but also, with lower greenhouse gas emissions, the general population and the environment. It is a win-win situation that should be further promoted.
Factories in SECO’s partner countries often work with outdated machinery, despite the existence of more eco-friendly technologies. However, many businesses cannot afford such investments in the short term, or they are unaware of the new technologies available. The lending books of financial institutions reflect the risks and opportunities facing companies: climate change poses a risk, while a greener economy opens up new business opportunities. Unfortunately, many financial institutions do not have the instruments they need to assess the risk and set appropriate lending terms.
More output for less input
SECO supports SMEs in their efforts to embrace innovation and more eco-efficient production methods. It advises them on how to achieve cleaner production, e.g. by recycling waste or using greener technologies. This is profitable over time, because modern machines use less power and water. They also produce lower levels of climate-pollutant greenhouse gases.
Preservation and sustainable use of natural resources
Natural resources such as the tropical rainforests should be preserved and used in a manner that is sustainable. One way to achieve this is by certifying sustainably managed tropical timber, for which a strong market now exists. More compensation payments are now being made where there is reliable proof that climate-pollutant emissions have been curbed as a result of sustainable forest management. SECO also pushes for sustainability in the commercial use of biodiversity products. The growing demand for sustainably certified tropical fruits, medicinal plants or ingredients for foods or cosmetics is an indication of the higher value now placed on such products. At the same time, this helps to preserve the local biodiversity.
Financial support for green growth
SECO is committed to promoting sustainable financial services. The investments of today shape the economy of tomorrow. Through its influence on the real economy, the financial sector can contribute to more sustainable economic growth. SECO encourages the use of innovative financing mechanisms such as green loans and green credit lines. This gives firms easier access to finance for green projects and presents new investment opportunities for banks. SECO also supports initiatives to help financial institutions better analyse environmental risks, e.g. for bank loans.