Finance in Common Summit: responsAbility, supported by FMO and EIB, Commits to Gender Equality: Climate fund qualifies for the 2X Challenge
12 November 2020
Climate Fund supporting clean power in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and South East Asia applies a gender lens to its investment
50% of its portfolio companies providing quality employment for women
Boosting gender equality in energy sector whose workforce only counts 32% of women
During the Finance in Common Summit, responsAbility Investments, a leading Swiss sustainable asset manager, commits to apply a gender lens to its investments through its climate fund. With this commitment, the climate fund, a private debt fund addressing lack of access to clean power primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-East Asia, qualifies for the 2X Challenge. The 2X Challenge is a leading initiative deploying and mobilizing capital to empower women and enhance their economic participation in emerging markets.
The fund qualified for the 2X Challenge by meeting the Employment Criteria with at least 50% of its portfolio companies actively improving and providing quality employment for women. The energy sector is one of the least gender diverse sectors with only 32% of the workforce being women (IRENA 2019). Applying a gender lens will help the climate fund ensure that female talent is attracted and retained, and that they can contribute to this growing industry.
responsAbility is supported by FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and the European Investment Bank (EIB). FMO is a member of the 2X Challenge and the EIB has adopted the 2X Challenge Criteria, which aims to advance opportunities for women through enterprise support, leadership, and career progression, quality employment, and products/services that enhance women’s economic participation. The 2X Challenge aims to identify eligible companies directly or through financial intermediaries that are committed to one or more of these areas. It exceeded its target of $3bn in commitments in June 2020.
“We applaud and support responsAbility's commitment to apply a gender-smart investment lens to its climate fund and to joining the 2X Challenge,” said Jorim Schraven, Director Impact and ESG at FMO, the Dutch development bank. “We see responsAbility’s climate fund setting an example by supporting women’s economic empowerment in the energy sector, and we are looking forward to partnering together to deliver towards the climate action and gender equality SDGs.”
Thomas ÖSTROS, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) said: “Supporting gender smart investment is smart economics. It is vital to enhance business productivity and to catalyse economic growth, social cohesion and social justice. As the EU bank, together with our partners, we are committed to ensure that our investment benefit all parts of our communities equally. I am very proud to be supporting responsAbility’s climate fund with FMO, which qualified today for the 2X Challenge.”
Antoine Prédour, Head of Climate Finance at responsAbility commented that, “Success always includes a holistic outlook and I am proud to be part of this initiative. It’s about time that gender equality is being considered a must, no matter the type of investment.”
responsAbility is piloting a gender smart investing framework for its fund to promote the advancement of gender equity and other social and environmental outcomes for the benefit of its businesses. To do so, it receives technical assistance from Power Africa, and advisory services from leading impact and gender advisors Sagana and Catalyst at Large.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union (EU) owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals both in Europe and beyond.
To enhance the positive impact of its activities on gender equality and empower women and girls, the EIB Group adopted a Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment and a Gender Action Plan, with the aim of embedding gender equality and, in particular women’s economic empowerment in the EIB’s business model. It covers its lending, blending and advising work within and outside the EU.
The EIB is also committed to driving gender equality in the workplace. The EU Bank champions diversity and inclusion not only because of the undeniable business benefits they bring, but also because of their power to enrich the working environment for all staff.
A leading impact asset manager with a 17-year track record, responsAbility manages USD 3.5 bn of assets invested in over 300 ESG-managed high-impact companies across 76 emerging economies. Since the company's inception in 2003, responsAbility-managed funds have invested over USD 10 bn in private debt and private equity to companies in the sectors of sustainable food, financial inclusion and climate finance whose business models directly support the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
responsAbility is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and has local offices in Bangkok, Geneva, Hong Kong, Lima, Mumbai, Nairobi, Oslo, Paris and Tbilisi. Owned by various reputable Swiss and international financial institutions, private investors and its own employees, responsAbility is registered with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.
FMO is the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs. FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development and has a 50-year proven track-record of empowering people to employ their skills and improve their quality of life. FMO focuses on three sectors that have high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food & water. With a committed portfolio of EUR 9.7 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector developments banks globally. For more information: please visit www.fmo.nl
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, will continue to provide hands-on support for fast, sustainable and green investments for climate action, improved connectivity and COVID-19 recovery. In doing so, the Bank stands by the Republic of Serbia in its EU accession goals, said EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova during her visit to Serbia earlier this week. Vice-President Pavlova opened the Western Balkans Rail Summit in Belgrade, where regional transport ministers, government and European Commission representatives and rail professionals planned the future development and modernisation of the regional rail network.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 250 million loan agreement with TenneT Holding B.V. The financing will be used to build a 40-km long electricity transmission corridor from Eemshaven to Vierverlaten in the province of Groningen, in the north of Netherlands, enabling the transmission of rapidly growing amounts of offshore wind energy to users in the Netherlands and beyond. The new electricity transmission corridor will double the capacity of the existing 220kV circuit. The corridor financed by the EIB includes a new 380kV line from Eemshaven to Vierverlaten, combined with a 110kV line for part of the route, and a new 380/220kV substation in Vierverlaten.
The Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) today approved plans to strengthen its global development engagement. It also approved EUR 4.8 billion of new financing for 24 projects to support climate action, COVID vaccines and economic resilience, sustainable transport and education.