In pursuit of promoting sustainable and responsible economic development, SEB has issued the first Green loan in Latvia, available for companies implementing eco- friendly and sustainable business solutions.
Financing of EUR 6 million to SIA Depozīta Iepakojuma Operators for rolling out a packaging deposit system in Latvia from 1 February 2022.
From 1 February 2022 a unified deposit system for beverage packaging is expected to become operational in Latvia. Under the deposit system, glass, plastic (PET) and metal (can) packaging for non-alcoholic and alcoholic (less than 6%) beverages will be collected.
A deposit of ten cents will be charged for each deposit packaging unit purchased, which will be refunded after the packaging is turned in, provided that the packaging to be turned in is marked with a special label and barcode, and the packaging has been emptied.
Climate change affects everyone
The concept of a green bond was developed by SEB and the World Bank in 2008 in response to growing investor demand for engaging in climate change mitigation initiatives. In 2017, SEB issued its first green bonds worth EUR 500 million. Part of the proceeds from these bonds are used to finance Baltic companies willing to implement sustainable, eco- friendly projects.
“We cannot pretend that climate change does not concern us. To reduce the impact on the environment in the future, we must act now. The rolling out of a deposit system is an important tool to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the environment. This issue has been discussed at national level for years, so it is gratifying that the discussions are now taking shape of specific effort and that we can support the implementation of this project”, Ints Krasts, the member of the Management Board of SEB, says.
SEB Green loan is available to large companies opting to invest responsibly – in renewable energy production, energy efficiency improvement, sustainable forestry and waste management, and other environmentally friendly projects that lead to reduced CO2 emissions.
As a bank, our direct impact in relation to climate change is only 5%. The remaining 95% are indirect impacts through projects financed by the bank. Therefore, supporting business activities and initiatives to jointly create a better environment for us and for future generations, is important.
SEB’s goal is to continue to be a leader in environmentally friendly investments and assets and to promote the implementation of sustainable projects. I. Krasts also highlighted that about 50% of SEB Group’s green loan portfolio consists of renewable energy projects, whereas the remainder is made up from green buildings, transportation and energy efficiency project financing.”
An effective way to reduce pollution
Miks Stūrītis, the chairman of the Management Board of SIA Depozīta Iepakojuma Operators says that the deposit system is the next stage of development, aimed at reducing the amount of waste that ends up in the environment and starting a well-functioning and healthy circular economy.
“By combining modern technologies with smart and sustainable system management, we have the opportunity to achieve environmental goals quickly and efficiently and increase packaging recycling rates” he claims.
“Currently, plastic (PET packaging) constitutes the largest share of pollution in forests, lakes, rivers and oceans as well as parks. With the rolling out of the deposit system we expect to be able to collect and recycle twice as much plastic packaging as we do now – up to as much as 90%. In turn, beverage companies will be able to recover up to 90-95% of refillable glass containers for their reuse in the marketplace.”
The company Depozīta Iepakojuma Operators was founded in June 2020. The owners of the company are SIA Alus un dzērienu iepakojuma savienība, SIA Coca-Cola HBC Latvia, AS Cēsu alus, SIA Cido grupa un AS PET Baltija, AS Aldaris, the Latvian Food Retailers’ Association and the Latvian Beer Producers’ Association.