Rabobank now has a further 100 million euros of EIB funding available for loans to businesses to be used for a positive impact. The first tranche of 50 million euros from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for impact loans through Rabobank has been fully taken up. 47 SMEs and midcap companies have taken advantage of an impact loan in the past six months. They are using their loan to invest in the future of their business and are also contributing to a world we can all live in, and that benefits people and the environment. The success of the first tranche means that Rabobank and the EIB will continue to encourage impact investments by SMEs and midcap companies.
Eric Saris, Director of Business Banking at Rabobank, on the success: "There is great enthusiasm for impact investing. The impact loans have led to approximately 250 million euros being invested by sustainability frontrunners in the Netherlands. These are investments that deliver benefits to the businesses themselves, but also have positive impact for people, the environment and society at large. This is why we want to financially reward sustainable development in SMEs and midcap companies with an impact loan."
EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom adds: "the continuation of this successful facility is a clear signal that sustainable businesses are the future. In each and every investment it partakes in, the EIB looks very closely at the secondary impact its operations have; not just economically, but specifically on a social, human and environmental level, making this operation a helping hand for impact-conscious Dutch SMEs."
Rabobank and the EIB expect impact loans to encourage SME owners and midcap companies with positive and sustainable plans to accelerate their progress towards sustainable development.
A variety of sectors
Entrepreneurs from various sectors have taken advantage of an impact loan, which comes at a substantial discount. Strongly represented sectors include agriculture and horticulture (5 and 12 million euros respectively), transport (around 10 million euros) and hospitality and recreation (around 7 million euros). The remainder of approximately 16 million euros went to other sectors. AMI B.V., a manufacturer of aluminium building hardware, is one of the businesses taking an impact loan. AMI director Arthur de Ruiter highly appreciates the initiative of Rabobank and the EIB: "We have invested this year in a machine that uses less energy and raw materials and is also more employee-friendly. The fact that we could do this with an impact loan gives us the feeling that our efforts in the field of sustainability and cradle to cradle are being rewarded. We are proud of this."
Impact loans are available to entrepreneurs who are frontrunners in their sector, are demonstrably engaged in corporate social responsibility and possess one of the selected quality marks. Applications for an impact loan have to meet the normal conditions of the EIB and Rabobank. Impact loans are available for businesses with up to 3,000 employees. The total investment may not exceed 25 million euros and the loan principal is capped at 2.5 million euros.
Number of quality marks expanded
The number of the participating quality marks has been increased by 10 and now amounts to 47. The quality marks have been selected on the basis of how companies are monitored to ensure they meet and comply with the quality mark requirements. The quality marks selected set stricter requirements than the statutory requirements for sustainability in areas such as the environment, fair trade or animal welfare.
Companies possessing one or more of the following quality marks may be eligible for an impact loan: ASC, B Corporation, Barometer Duurzame Bloemist, Barometer Duurzame Evenementen, Barometer Duurzaam Terreinbeheer, Beter Leven, Blauwe Vlag (KVMK), BOVAG Erkend Duurzaam, BREEAM, BSCI, Care & Fair, CO2-Prestatieladder, Cradle to Cradle (C2C), Demeter, Duurzaam Repareren, EKO, EKO-Holland, EU Ecolabel, Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFFP), Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), FSC, GEO Certified, Green Award, Green Key, GreenSeat, Groen Label Kas, Groenkeur, Keten Duurzaam Rundvlees, Keten Duurzaam Varkensvlees, Lean& Green, Made-By, Maatlat Duurzame Veehouderij, Maatlat Duurzame Aquacultuur, Max Havelaar, Meer Met Minder (MMM), Metaalunie, MVO Groeikeurmerk, MVO-Monitor, MVO-Wijzer, Milieukeur, Milieuthermometer Zorg, MPS-ABC, MSC, MVO Koploper Netwerk, MVO Prestatieladder, Rainforest Alliance, Travelife Certified, Utz Certified.