Standard Bank South Africa said yesterday it had made significant strides in its sustainable finance and renewable energy initiatives and, in the first half of 2023, had mobilised R28 billion for sustainable finance, bringing the amount since its 2022 financial year to R83bn.
The bank said that since the launch of its climate policy in March 2022, it had tracked ahead of its target to raise between R250bn and R300bn for sustainable finance by the end of 2026.
In 2022, the bank exceeded its goal by executing 29 sustainable finance transactions, with a total value of R55bn.
The 2023 run rate was higher compared to the same period last year, which was promising for this year’s R50bn mobilisation targets, the bank said.
Standard Bank South Africa CEO Lungisa Fuzile said the bank aimed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2040 and from its portfolio of financed emissions by 2050, aligning with the Paris Agreement.
In 2022, the bank financed R5 in renewable energy for every R1 lent to non-renewable power, indicating a strong commitment to renewable energy financing.
The bank also provided R30bn in financing for new renewable energy power plants.
Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking unit was on track to exceed its renewable investment targets. Standard Bank also funded and committed, under REIPPP and RMIPPP, currently R52,5bn or 3GW, while three projects had not yet reached financial close.
On decentralised energy projects, three had reached financial close already (Tronox, ARM and Lephalale) totaling 370MW under construction, with a pipeline of 1GW reaching financial close within 6 months and another 2-3GW pipeline still under discussion.
Through its LookSee home efficiency digital platform, the bank had installed over R60m worth of home solar systems for customers, 350% growth year-on-year.
Supporting small businesses, over R1.1bn had been disbursed to support solar solutions providers and facilitate access to renewable energy for its SME clients.
As a result of these efforts, clients have installed 656 renewable energy systems generating 192 MW of power from green sources. Standard Bank is also the first bank to participate in the Energy Bounce-Back Loan Guarantee Scheme, which will offer affordable solar loans to both personal and business clients.