Standard Bank says it’s one of the largest renewable funders in SA

  • Standard Bank has issued a press release regarding the financial institution’s renewable energy funding.
  • It has come under fire for allegedly continuing to invest in fossil fuels.
  • The bank adds that for every R1 spent on non-renewable investments on 2022, it spent R5 on renewable funding.

Several days ago, Standard Bank’s Rosebank headquarters was descended upon by protestors urging the financial institution to end all investments in fossil fuel projects, as sustainability continues to be a significant consideration for businesses across myriad industries. Now Standard Bank is looking to highlight precisely what its investments into renewable energies involve.

In a press release sent to Hypertext, Standard Bank says it is one of the largest renewable funders in South Africa, citing a number of figures for the 2022 financial year.

“Since the launch of its climate policy in March 2022, Standard Bank has been tracking ahead of its target to raise between R250 billion to R300 billion for sustainable finance by the end of 2026. In 2022, the bank exceeded its goal by executing 29 sustainable finance transactions with a total value of R55 billion. The bank’s 2023 run rate is higher compared to the same period last year, which is promising for this year’s R50 billion mobilization targets,” said press release explained.

Standard Bank takes Africa’s social, economic, and environmental context as the starting point for its climate policy commitments. The bank aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2040 and from its portfolio of financed emissions by 2050, aligning with the Paris Agreement. In the first half of 2023, Standard Bank mobilised R28 billion for sustainable finance, bringing the cumulative amount since FY22 to R83 billion,” added CEO, Lungisa Fuzile.

To emphasise its focus on renewable energy investments, the financial institution noted that for every R1 spent on non-renewable projects, R5 was spent on renewable ones.

Looking at some of its other initiatives, the bank also made mention of LookSee, which has helped the institution install more than R60 million worth of home solar for customers

“Supporting small businesses, the Bank has disbursed over R1.1 billion to support solar solutions providers and facilitate access to renewable energy for its SME clients. As a result of these efforts, clients have installed 656 renewable energy systems generating 192 MW of power from green sources. Standard Bank is also the first bank to participate in the Energy Bounce-Back Loan Guarantee Scheme, which will offer affordable solar loans to both Personal and Business Clients,” it pointed out.

“Standard Bank South Africa is proud to support its customers in their transition towards sustainable energy solutions. These investments contribute significantly to reducing carbon emissions and promoting a greener future for South Africa,” Fuzile concluded.

Whether this will be enough to appease protestors and non-profit groups remains to be seen, but without a definitive statement to end fossil fuel investments, there will likely be more demonstrations at Standard Bank’s Rosebank offices down the line.


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