Since July 2023 Center-invest Bank started calculating carbon footprint of all loans extended to the agribusiness. Over 1.5 months following the launch of the methodology, the bank has assessed the emissions from 53 loans for the amount of 397.4 million rubles.
The carbon footprint is the total volume of greenhouse gas emissions occurring in the course of human activities which is measured in the carbon dioxide (CO₂) equivalent. Reduction of carbon footprint is one of the key objectives of modern society and a part of Russia’s low-carbon development strategy until the year 2050.
Implementation of the carbon footprint calculation for agriculture-related loans is an important step of Center-invest Bank toward assessment of its carbon impact. The share of agribusiness in the bank’s corporate loan portfolio exceeds 54%. The methodology was developed by the bank’s specialists and takes into account a host of parameters: from type of crops and animals to their housing costs and per-hectare expenditures for each ag crop. Moreover, the bank is using strategic data of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and takes into account the regional aspect and the soil cultivation method used. For example, no-till technology makes it possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and is considered to be more environmentally friendly. The share of fields belonging to the bank’s clients cultivated using the no-till technology was equal to 7.6%.
Center-invest Bank puts the principles of responsible financing into practice. Since 2005, within the framework of the lending program for energy efficiency projects, the bank has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 259 thousand tons. In 2020 the bank has issued its first Green Bonds for financing of green projects which contributed to the reduction of CO₂ emissions by 11 thousand tons. Since 2021 the bank buys and also produces green energy using solar panels, to cover 40% of the bank’s total electricity consumption. In 2022 Center-invest Bank has implemented the Green Mortgage lending program which allows the bank’s clients to buy real estate of energy efficiency class A and higher at discounted interest rates, and since 2023 the bank has implemented the calculation of the mortgage carbon footprint.
Besides, Center-invest Bank publishes the Green Vector digital banking ESG magazine, which ensures high-quality integration of the bank’s green products and promotes the topic of conscious and environmentally friendly consumption.
Center-invest Bank continues to develop and implement the carbon footprint calculation methodology in order to achieve carbon neutrality and build a green economy.