- Kenya’s SBM Bank has announced its commitment towards increasing its ESG investment in the country.
- The commitment is aimed at providing sustainable financing for projects that will allow access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy.
- The move follows a partnership between the Bank and Safer Power in renewable energy in Lukenya that will connect Stoni Athi Resort to off-grid solar power.
ESG investments in East Africa’s most advanced economy are expected to increase as SBM Bank deepens its commitment in Kenya’s sustainability drive. The commitment to prioritise financing projects aligning with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is aimed at providing sustainable investments that optimise in the use of clean, reliable, and affordable energy.
The announcement follows the partnership between the Bank and Safer Power in renewable energy in Lukenya that plans to connect Stoni Athi Resort to off-grid solar power.
“Our focus through this collaboration is to empower businesses within the hospitality industry and the commercial and industrial sector to embrace sustainable, cost-effective, and reliable solar energy solutions. Leveraging the technological prowess of Safer Power Limited, we aim to play a pivotal role in reducing carbon footprints and steering the course towards a more sustainable energy landscape, representing the future of our industries and country,” said SBM Bank Director Corporate Assets Eric Wambua.
Green energy part of ESG investments in Kenya
Wambua says the partnership is a guaranteed show of support in ESG investments in Kenya, which aligns with the country’s goal of targeting 100 per cent transition to renewable energy by 2030, while contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on affordable and clean energy and climate mitigation through increased access to affordable and reliable energy.
“We are overjoyed to be part of the financial institutions that are on the front line spurring the growth of the energy sector in Kenya through partnership with entities that share a common mindset and goal such as Safer Power Limited. Through this partnership and the commissioning of this 123.3wp/192KWh solar power plant, I believe we are playing a big role in strengthening the social-economic status of the hospitality, commercial and industrial sector not only here in Stoni Athi but also within the country,” Wambua said.
Supporting SMEs’ ESG investments goals
The Bank re emphasized its interest in supporting people and interested groups, whether in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) or large corporations, with ESG investments through tailor-made products for different sectors such as agriculture, education, health, and manufacturing.
The CEO of Safer Power Limited, Dalmus Mbai, expressed excitement about being at the forefront of companies providing renewable, low-cost, and safe energy to key sectors contributing immensely to the country’s social and economic growth.
“We are proud to contribute to this project, which aligns with the ambitious goal of connecting as many households and entities as possible to the solar off-grid system in the country. This initiative significantly enhances our national capacity. The project will play a crucial role in leaving an indelible mark on mitigating climate change, building resilience to volatile prices, and lowering energy costs,” said Dalmus.
A new study from deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations, reveals that more than half of global investors plan to increase their Environmental Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) investments in 2024.
Global investors to increase ESG investments in 2024
The study, which polled over 800 investors, shows that 56 per cent of global investors are gearing up to increase their ESG investment in 2024 amidst escalating climate change challenges.
Similarly, latest data from Standard Chartered Bank indicates that as capital continues to accumulate in ESG funds, Africa is likely to be a major beneficiary – especially as many countries in the region have strengthened their sustainable bond markets.
Studies conducted by McKinsey have shown that customers are willing to pay more to go green.