Supporting sustainable projects in more than 160 countries
As the EU bank, we understand the need to promote environmental goals in both developed and developing countries. Our funding supports sustainable projects in over 160 countries and acts as a catalyst to mobilise private finance, encouraging others to match our long-term investment. To date, we are the world’s largest issuer of Green Bonds.
In 2018, the EIB financed EUR 15.15 billion in projects supporting and protecting the natural and human environment.
Our environmental operations include:
- Sustainable transport, including transport safety
- Environmental protection, biodiversity and natural resources
- Sustainable Oceans and Blue Economy
- Depollution including noise, clean air, clean water
- Water supply and wastewater
- Circular economy and waste management
- Disaster risk management, recovery and reconstruction
- Clean, efficient energy production and use
Impact and projects
Discover some examples of environmental projects we are supporting all over the world:
d.light is a company which provides a range of off-grid, solar-powered lighting solutions across the developing world. They have 200,000 customers in Kenya alone. In this film we learn how a solar lighting kit has made a difference to Nairobi businesswoman Margaret Anyango’s life, while d.light’s Geoffrey Aswani tells us of the benefits of the products for women, mothers and children at home.
In Argentina’s Jujuy region, a new project - part of the Province’s Jujuy Verde Initiative - to manage waste sustainably and cut down greenhouse gases will bring new economic opportunities for women.
In Bangalore, one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, the metro provides an affordable and climate-friendly solution for commuters. Female passengers can feel more comfortable and safe with two doors reserved to them on each ride, and most drivers are young women. As a Bangalore Metro official explains in this clip, it’s “a great way of sending a message that women can stand shoulder to shoulder with men in any walk of life.”
In the spotlight
Halting the loss of biodiversity and adapting to climate change requires increasing investment in natural capital. The Natural Capital Financing Facility supports projects delivering on biodiversity and climate adaptation.
Water is life. The EIB’s loans and technical assistance help people in Europe and beyond to have access to healthy water and to build state-of-the-art wastewater facilities. This film tells you more about the EIB’s commitment to the water sector.
The EIB is helping countries within and outside Europe to adapt their water-management strategies to climate change and essential cuts in energy consumption.
Areas of activity
We encourage a shift away from private transport by investing in efficient public transport networks. We support sustainable shipping, road, air safety and other transport projects which aim to:
- Facilitate growth and job creation
- Cut greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduce noise pollution
- Minimise the damage to air quality
- Promote safety
We support EU policy to halt the loss of biodiversity by seeking to minimise negative impacts and enhance natural habitats through all our projects. We make prior assessments to better understand biodiversity implications of our actions. We also work with the European Task Force on Banking, Business and Biodiversity and the European Commission's Nature and Biodiversity Unit.
Forests are major carbon stores and so have a role as part of our climate action priority. Forests also help with the adaptation to some of the effects of climate change, such as soil erosion and increased flood risk. Our activities support the full forest value chain including restoration of forests, afforestation and forest industries, to protect biodiversity and foster rural economic growth and employment.
Agriculture is essential to livelihoods and food security. It is also a primary basis for local entrepreneurship, employment and social development in many countries around the world. As the EU bank, the European Invesment Bank supports the rural economy to benefit entrepreneurs and society as a whole. And we do it sustainably.
The EIB strongly supports the Blue Economy, or Ocean Economy, which includes all economic sectors that have a direct or indirect link with the oceans. Here are some examples of EIB activities:
Together with the European Commission, WWF and the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, the EIB developed the Sustainable Blue Economy Financing Principles, 14 voluntary Principles for the finance and investment community, to ensure that oceans are managed in a sustainable way.
As much of the plastic that ends up in the oceans comes from waste discarded on land or in rivers by the 2 billion people who don’t have waste collection services, the EIB launched the Clean Oceans Initiative jointly with the KfW group and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Together, the three banks will provide up to €2 billion in lending over the next five years to help the public and private sectors implement sustainable projects that collect plastics and other waste and clean up wastewater before it reaches the ocean.
The EIB endorsed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment. The commitment consists in a set of targets aiming at eliminating plastic and pollution at the source through redesign and innovation for packaging, and applying the principles of the circular economy.
The EIB committed to invest up to 20 million US dollars in the Sustainable Ocean Fund, which will support the sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture, seafood supply chain and coastal development, mainly in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Pollution prevention and control are key pillars of EU environmental policy. As the EU bank, we finance depollution projects that support noise reduction, clear air and clean water.
We also promote an integrated approach to prevention and control of emissions into air, water and soil for the protection of the environment as a whole. Our environmental and social handbook applies to all EIB investment projects. It outlines the standards that project promoters need to apply to, among other objectives, prevent, reduce and as far as possible eliminate pollution arising from different activities during the whole project lifecycle - from design to decommissioning.
We back a diverse range of projects related to the provision and management of water:
- Water supply
- Wastewater treatment and disposal
- Coastal erosion
- Flood control
- Hydropower generation
We offer long term financing and technical advice, as well as support for research, development and innovation. Most of our water and wastewater activity is located in the EU, but we also support international initiatives such as the ACP-EU Water Facility, Horizon 2020 and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation.
The EIB supports the transition towards a circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised.
Circular economy projects typically reduce resource consumption and waste generation which results in lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, mudslides, avalanches and landslides, put human lives, ecosystems and economies at risk. Investment in disaster risk prevention and reduction is essential to enhance the resilience of persons, communities, countries and their assets, as well as the environment.
The EIB works on strengthening national and international governance, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction endorsed by the United Nations in 2015, in relation to natural disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation. Our climate strategy promotes a risk management approach to increase the resilience of assets, communities and ecosystems related to EIB projects.
We also support post-disaster reconstruction projects, a critical opportunity to build back better - including through integrating disaster risk reduction into development measures.
The promotion of sustainable, competitive and secure sources of energy is an important sector for EIB financing. We focus on:
- Renewable energy: Supporting the development and expansion of renewable energy projects in Europe and beyond: onshore and offshore wind farms, solar, hydropower, geothermal and solid biomass projects, among others
- Energy efficiency: Increased energy efficiency lowers costs and improves competitiveness in the production of goods and delivery of services. The projects we support typically include retrofitting and expansion of existing social and urban infrastructure and services
Sustainable energy project advice: Many EU towns and regions lack the necessary technical expertise and organisational capacity to implement large energy efficiency and renewables projects. ELENA (“European Local ENergy Assistance”) is there to help. It covers up to 90% of the technical support cost needed to prepare, implement and finance the investment programme. Run by the EIB, it is funded by the European Commission
Climate change is one of the greatest global challenges of our time. Immediate and coordinated action is crucial to overcome its effects. As the EU bank, we have made climate action one of our top priorities and today we are the largest multilateral provider of climate finance worldwide.
We commit to climate change adaptation and mitigation more than 25% of our financing. For investments in developing countries, this figure will rise to 35% by 2020.
We are providing USD 100bn of climate-related projects in the five years from 2016 to 2020, as we help turn the COP21 ambitious Paris agreement into reality.