The SME lending market has a pivotal role in enabling SMEs to become carbon neutral
ESG risk directly impacts a borrower’s ability to repay debt, impacting credit risk
21 July 2021: Funding Options, the leading platform for business finance, has today launched its Green Finance Marketplace to connect entrepreneurs with suitable finance for their sustainability goals.
Dutch SMEs are responsible for 65% of the added value generated in the business economy and, as such, have a pivotal role to play towards the country’s sustainability goal of a 95% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to 1990. With the Green Finance Marketplace, business owners can connect with green lenders such as Beequip and Oneplanetcrowd for the funding they need to help them reach net zero.
Companies will be able to access funding through the Green Finance Marketplace to facilitate the purchase of ‘green assets’ – for example, solar panels or clean vehicles. Lenders will also be matched with ‘green businesses’ displaying strong environmental credentials, such as those participating in renewable, low/zero carbon or sustainable activities. Additionally, the platform will connect ‘green businesses’ – those providing verifiably sustainable products, services or working on a green project – with the right funding partner.
Simon Cureton, CEO of Funding Options, comments: “Funding Options sits at the heart of the SME lending ecosystem, giving us the power to ensure ‘green demand’ is met with ‘green supply’. Entrepreneurs get the extra support they need to reduce their carbon footprint with the right, green finance in place. Providing access to the best funding options will greatly assist them to implement more sustainable processes, business models and consumption patterns, paving the way for a green future.”
ESG compliance is already a key component in asset and fund management decisions, which will almost certainly have a knock-on impact on the credit lines offered to alternative lenders. Non-financial disclosures are also becoming a standard obligation within corporate financial services.
Partners have been certified in accordance with Funding Options’ green lender criteria, which includes having a specific green finance proposition or expressing a clear ethical commitment to the environment.
Peter Loef, Co-founder & partner at Beequip, says, “We are very proud to be one of the first alternative finance lenders to achieve the Funding Options ‘green lender’ mark. We provide lease finance for heavy equipment and have noticed a definite shift within the construction, infrastructure and logistics industries towards sustainability. Our finance products help our SME clients with their efforts to go green, whether they are looking for an electric cherry picker or are on a mission to make the maritime sector more sustainable with green solutions.”
“This initiative enables SMEs to easily identify the green lending partners on the Funding Options Marketplace. Oneplanetcrowd brings innovative companies and future-oriented investors together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy. We expect that the ‘green mark’ will act as a signpost for social and impact entrepreneurs towards funding that suits their goals,” according to Maarten de Jong, Commercial Director at Oneplanetcrowd.
Simon Cureton continues: “As the green finance market for SMEs matures, there will be greater opportunities to support a wider range of businesses by offering lower product pricing to ‘green’ SMEs in order to encourage them to become more sustainable. Our own wider sustainability policy and commitment is to play a leading role in helping to drive environmental and social governance in the alternative lending market, while at the same time promoting a broader choice of competitive green finance options for our customers.”