By : Finance Editor
Jordan Daily – Jordan Kuwait Bank (JKB) has won the Green Bond of the Year award for 2023 from the Global SME Finance Forum, a leading platform for promoting sustainability in the banking sector, the bank said on Sunday.
The award recognises JKB’s efforts to foster sustainable growth by integrating green strategies into its banking operations and services, the bank said in a statement.
JKB beat a large number of banks and financial institutions from around the world to win the prestigious award, which was presented at a ceremony in Mumbai, India, attended by more than 700 people from 70 countries, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Green Bond Technical Assistance Program, which granted the Sustainable Bond Awards for this year.
The winning entries represent the growing number of financial institutions that realise that green bonds and sustainability play a crucial role in addressing the ongoing climate crisis and helping financial institutions achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the statement said.
“We hope that this achievement will encourage banks and financial institutions in Jordan to issue green bonds, which is in line with the national green growth action plans (2021-2025), which were developed to expand Jordan’s climate and sustainable development ambitions by integrating the green growth plan, climate change, development goals and to provide innovative financing solutions in the Jordanian market,” JKB’s Chief Executive Officer Haitham Al-Battikhi said.
Commenting on the achievement, JKB’s Corporate Business Development Manager Fadi Khalil said: “We are proud to be the first bank in Jordan to issue green bonds with the support of the Canada-IFC Blended Climate Finance Program, which played an effective role in making this achievement possible by investing $10 million, and allocating its proceeds to finance renewable energy projects, low-carbon emission vehicles, green infrastructure and buildings, energy-saving systems, water resources, recycling and sustainable circular economies, and supporting environmentally friendly projects.”
Khawaja Aftab Ahmed, IFC’s Regional Director for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, praised JKB’s role as a leader in financing environmental projects, and expressed his enthusiasm to join forces in the next phase, as well as his hope that this would encourage other banks to adopt smart, climate-friendly and sustainable projects in Jordan and inspire other countries to follow Jordan’s example.
JKB’s sustainability journey dates back to previous years, during which it achieved many achievements, starting from adopting preferential financing terms for renewable energy projects, to building a solar power plant that generated 70% of its total electricity consumption.