IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Banque Libano Francaise recently launched a sustainable energy finance initiative aimed at developing financial products to help Lebanese companies use resources more efficiently, enhance the competitiveness of their products and services, and help protect the environment.High energy costs and unsustainable practices are estimated to cost Lebanese businesses more than $400 million annually in lost profits and have a negative impact on the local environment. To address these challenges, IFC is partnering with Banque Libano-Francaise in the first sustainable energy finance project with a bank in the Middle East and North Africa region, aimed at expanding access to finance for projects that will save or promote the efficient use of energy and other resources.
Walid Raphael, General Manager of Banque Libano Francaise, said, "In addition to initiating this partnership with IFC, Banque Libano Francaise is at the forefront of sustainable and renewable energy projects in Lebanon. It has already launched a number of green products and awareness programs."Luke Haggarty, Head of IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa, said, “Promoting resource efficiency is a key part of IFC’s strategy in Lebanon, and this new sustainable energy financing project between Banque Libano-Francaise and IFC will help save businesses money while promoting environmental sustainability.”
Over the coming year, the project will support strategic product development and provide sustainable energy finance training and tools, allowing Banque Libano-Francaise to offer clients energy and resource efficiency opportunities. This project will enable the bank to rapidly scale up sustainability-related lending to meet the energy needs of the Lebanese market, particularly small and medium businesses looking to increase their resource efficiency.
This sustainable energy financing project also is supported by Finland; the UK’s Department for International Development, DFID; and the Islamic Development Bank. The project also is being launched at the same time as the Lebanon Green Building Council, with IFC’s support, is unveiling its new ARZ Building Rating System, a tool to encourage commercial building owners in the country to undertake renovations that save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.