Boosting public-private partnerships to mitigate climate change

Leading Dutch bank joins ranks of energy investors in developing countries

Zurich, 13 September, 2016 – Developing economies will account for the vast majority of growth in global energy demand and CO2 emissions over the coming decades. Innovative investment vehicles targeting this part of the world enable private entities to invest, along with public institutions, in renewable-energy generation and energy efficiency. With this objective, Netherlands-based ASN Bank recently invested in a responsAbility-managed fund set up as a public-private partnership and aimed at mitigating climate change.

ASN Bank, the oldest sustainable bank in the Netherlands, has invested USD 25 m in a note issued by a responsAbility-managed fund that was set up in 2009 and is aimed at mitigating climate change in developing countries through targeted investments. While public investors have created the foundation for the fund, the objective is to leverage the share classes held by public entities by raising private funding, notably through the issuance of notes.

ASN Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dutch retail bank SNS Bank, is the second private institution to join the ranks of the fund’s investors. A German pension fund acquired a note in 2012.
Structured as a public-private partnership, the fund offers a platform that unites different parties in pursuit of a common goal. Through this set-up, public investors contribute to a financially sustainable vehicle for climate-change mitigation, and their funding is leveraged by private-sector finance. For their part, private investors value the first-loss risk cushion provided by more junior share classes.

“With the note, we have found an investment opportunity that represents an interesting alternative to other asset classes in the current low-interest-rate environment,” said Jort Bakker, Head of Sustainable Financing at ASN Bank. “At the same time, and more importantly, it is also an investment aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and fighting climate change, an idea that perfectly fits with the DNA of ASN Bank. We are the first bank in the world that aims to be climate-neutral by 2030. This means that our assets and liabilities taken together should result in zero CO2 emissions. This investment helps us to reach that goal.”

Antoine Prédour, Head Energy Debt Financing at responsAbility Investments AG, added: “It’s a great sign for the industry that a pioneer like ASN Bank is becoming a strong partner in carbon reduction investments. We have been very active in ensuring that the fund’s financing reaches eligible projects across the globe. The further improved funding base will allow us to pursue these activities on an even larger scale.”

Contacts

ASN Bank
Ruud Stevens
phone +31 6 10963432
ruud.stevens [at] asnbank.nl ( )

responsAbility Investments AG 
Ulli Janett
Media Relations
phone +41 44 250 67 15
ulli.janett [at] responsAbility.com ( )

About responsAbility Investments AG
responsAbility Investments AG is one of the world’s leading asset managers in the field of development investments and offers professionally managed investment solutions to both private and institutional investors. The company supplies debt and equity financing to non-listed firms in emerging economies and developing countries. 

responsAbility currently has USD 3.2 billion of assets under management invested in over 550 companies in 96 countries. Founded in 2003, the company is headquartered in Zurich and has local offices in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Lima, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Nairobi, Oslo and Paris. Its shareholders include a number of reputable institutions in the Swiss financial market and its own employees. responsAbility is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.

About ASN Bank
Since 1960, ASN Bank is committed to a fair and sustainable society. In all its activities, it takes into account vulnerable communities, the climate, nature and the needs of future generations. Its clients can pay and save at ASN Bank, invest in ASN Investment Funds and have their wealth managed. The bank also provides funding for projects and to organisations that have a fit with its sustainability mission.

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