Investing in Georgia’s Green Economy!

On December 6 Memorandum of Cooperation was officially signed between ProCredit Bank and the USAID / CENN Waste Management (WMTR) program, confirming their readiness to deepen collaboration and jointly promote the development of the waste management sector in Georgia.

The cooperation aims to promote the development of the waste recycling sector and introduce modern waste management standards in Georgia, part of which is also raising awareness about the waste recycling sector in the country.

Going forward green financing will be part of the strategic direction of the Bank, an important component of which is waste management. To support the development of the mentioned sector in Georgia, the Bank will provide the companies operating in this sector with services tailored to their needs.

Collaboration will also see various activities from both sides. The Bank is ready to actively participate in raising awareness about waste management and other educational activities, including - visits to the ‘Green Building’ of the Bank to see different approaches to waste reduction and other awareness-raising activities.

Within the WMTR program CENN has established the Waste Management Association of Georgia which unites sorted waste collection and recycling companies. The association has two main objectives: creating a business-friendly environment for the development of waste recycling and aggregating companies in Georgia through advocating and lobbying key issues for sector development with different interested parties, including decision makers; and developing the capacity of recycling and aggregating companies according to the best international practices. CENN also cooperates with individual waste collection and recycling companies through various technical assistance to support their further development. Within the program, the Agency provides a grants component that aims to equip target companies with modern equipment to support their development. A key component of the program is awareness raising and public outreach; within this component the program is actively working with youth via various campaigns.

Based on this information, CENN in its turn is ready to provide ProCredit Bank information on the waste management sector and to facilitate cooperation between the Bank and companies operating in the sector.

GEORGIA TODAY spoke to Nana Janashia, CENN Chief Executive Director and Alex Matua, ProCredit Bank’s General Director to find out more about the future collaboration between the two agencies / organizations and the main aims and benefits of this partnership.

“The purpose of initiating cooperation between ProCredit Bank and CENN is to support the development of the waste management sector in the country,” Janashia tells us. “Within the frames of the partnership, the agencies will implement various activities, both educational and awareness raising, and will offer different financial mechanisms for waste collection and recycling companies involved in waste management, which will contribute to their development and empowerment. Essentially the aim is to promote partnerships between the private sector and the bank Nana Janashia went on to explain activities planned for the youth and education involving seminars, trainings, internships and other activities at the Bank’s Green Building.

“ProCredit has developed an Environmental Management System (EMS) with ISO 14001: 2015 certification for environmental management which consists of three pillars: The second and third pillars focus on reducing the environmental impact of their clients' operations and financing green investments. Since ProCredit Bank's core business is banking, the indirect environmental impacts of their clients' activities are, of course, greater than their direct impacts. As such, their daily business is to assess and manage the environmental and social risks of each of their loans, as well as to directly invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and other environmentally friendly investments with our eco loans. The first pillar focuses on the Bank's internal environmental management, in which they continually improve the efficiency of the resources they consume, raising awareness of the Bank's employees and contracting companies - be it construction, repair or cleaning services.

“Protecting the environment is an integral part of our identity and long-term strategy,” ProCredit Bank’s General Manager Alex Matua tells us. “Waste management is within the first pillar and we take responsibility for all the waste we produce (paper, plastic, glass, electronic waste, hazardous waste, etc.) and invest in sustainable management. We see the importance of continually improving the results of our internal environmental management, as we understand that it contributes to the diffusion of green technologies, creating successful examples and raising environmental awareness in the community.”

“We’ll look primarily at organizations working in the field, offering sector-specific banking products and planning and implementing awareness raising, educational activities with CENN,” Mr. Matua tells us.

“Over 80% of our green funding comes from energy efficient investments, we are actively working to diversify our portfolio and finance sectors such as waste management, renewable energy technologies, bio / organic production and more,” Mr. Matua notes. “Specifically, in October, we completed a waste market study on waste management, allowing us to assess the current situation, challenges and market prospects. Also, the Bank's experience in sustainable waste management has given us the opportunity to get to know the market players as well as commercial, business-oriented as well as non-governmental organizations and social enterprises with whom we are already cooperating in various ways. The Memorandum of Understanding with CENN is a successful example of this cooperation.”

12 December 2019 17:27