The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided to Bank Ochrony Środowiska (Bank for Environmental Protection, BOŚ) a EUR 75m loan supporting small and medium-scale investments carried out by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), mid-caps and public sector entities in Poland. 40% of the loan is expected to finance projects contributing to Climate Action. The EIB facility is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a central element of the Juncker Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe.

This is already the EIB’s sixth multi-beneficiary intermediated loan to BOŚ, whose intention is to make the funds from this loan available in the third quarter of 2017. EIB financing is aimed at supporting projects in a number of sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and energy. The Climate Action part will foster investments that significantly contribute to the mitigation, avoidance or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and projects in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and waste management.

EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák, responsible for the Bank’s activities in Poland, said: “Targeting an increase in economic growth and employment potential is a priority of the European Investment Bank, also under the Juncker Plan, and the loan to BOŚ will support small businesses - the backbone of the EU’s economy. As the EU bank, we are committed to putting EU climate goals into practice and are therefore glad to team up with BOŚ given its specialisation in financing pro-ecological and environmentally friendly projects in Poland”.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "The European Fund for Strategic Investments is playing an important role in facilitating access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses across Europe. Over 16,000 Polish businesses are already set to access EFSI-backed loans which will allow them to grow, innovate and hire new employees. Today's agreement is especially encouraging, given that it supports projects which will contribute to creating a greener, more sustainable future."

Anna Milewska, Vice President of BOŚ’s Management Board, added: “Involving the Bank Ochrony Środowiska in the area of environmentally friendly investments, increasing support for small and medium-sized enterprises, is one of the key elements of the new BOŚ strategy for the years 2016 – 2020”.

Under this facility, BOŚ plans to provide loans with the maximum amount of EUR 12.5m. The key benefits of the facility are long loan tenors, low margins and reduced requirements for the investor's own contribution to the projects – down to the level of 15% of the value of the investment. In addition, it will be possible to combine different sources of financing (domestic and foreign funds) and to refinance the costs already incurred by the investor.