What is sustainability for the EBRD?

Our commitment to sustainability is articulated in the Agreement Establishing the Bank. It is implemented through policies, strategies and initiatives that are developed in response to the emerging challenges and the evolving international context. The EBRD’s mandate to foster transition towards market-oriented economies and to promote private and entrepreneurial initiatives is inextricably linked to our commitment to sustainable development.

The EBRD’s sustainability mandate is translated into operational activities in the Bank’s policies and strategies. In our operations, we strive for a high standard of sustainability and environmental and social benefits and equitable access to those benefits.

We are committed to aligning our operations, country and sector strategies and projects to support the regions where we invest in achieving their goals to deliver sustainable and inclusive economies. We are committed to work with our clients, governments, development institutions and a wide range of stakeholders to help the economies where we invest fulfil their commitments to the global sustainability agenda.

Our approach to sustainability is multifaceted and involves:

  • incorporating environmental and social requirements into the appraisal and implementation of all Bank-funded projects based on European Union (EU) standards and international good practice
  • providing finance and technical assistance specifically aimed at promoting environmental and social benefits
  • promoting social inclusion and access to municipal services such as water and public transport
  • supporting projects that promote gender equality
  • providing consultation and information disclosure, and maintaining regular strategic dialogue with civil society organisations and other stakeholders
  • ensuring that we are accountable to our stakeholders.

You can find more details of the EBRD’s Sustainability Approach here

About this report

Our Sustainability Report 2018 explores the many ways we have created sustainable impact over the year. Our projects have boosted the green economy, used resources and energy more efficiently and made a real difference to the daily lives of millions of people across three continents. We have worked with our clients to promote gender equality and social inclusion and have conducted policy engagement to facilitate countries’ shifts towards greater inclusivity and sustainable growth.

This report provides examples of this work and demonstrates the impact that the EBRD can achieve. It gives a breakdown of our Sustainability Bond programme and the Green Project Portfolio it supports; provides transparency and assurance for all stakeholders; and describes how the EBRD is managing its own environmental footprint. This year’s report also includes a list of climate finance projects and expanded reporting on Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

The Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted by the United Nations and 193 member countries in 2015, reflect a global vision of progress to transform societies and economies to have a safe, equitable and sustainable future. The SDGs are aligned with the EBRD’s belief that a well-functioning market economy should be competitive, well-governed, green, inclusive, resilient and integrated. We are committed to helping the economies in which we invest meet these transition qualities and support the targets and outcomes defined by the SDGs.

We believe the EBRD provides particular value to the SDGs through our work on Gender Equality (Goal 5), Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal 6), Affordable and Clean Energy (Goal 7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (Goal 9), Reduced Inequalities (Goal 10), Sustainable Cities and Communities (Goal 11), Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12) and Climate Action (Goal 13).

We are committed to helping countries in their efforts to implement the SDGs. This report includes examples of how the EBRD is investing in the water supply, waste management, clean energy and public transport of our countries. We are working with governments, municipalities and the private sector to promote gender equality, decent work and respect for human rights. Our policy engagement is targeting issues including resource efficiency and a move towards a circular economy. All of these activities support the targets and objective of the SDGs while being fully aligned with the EBRD’s transition mandate.

“Our investments are designed to foster sustainable and inclusive growth, the sort of growth that will guarantee the best return for people, the environment and investments over the long run. In 2018, our focus on sustainability further anchored our commitment to the green economy. As we continue to nurture our vision for sustainability, we look to the year ahead with ever-greater optimism.”

Suma Chakrabarti
President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

2019 and beyond

We are setting ourselves increasingly ambitious goals in support of the global development agenda as we further the transition process in our regions – strengthening the private sector and market economies by investing in lasting change on three continents. A plan agreed with shareholders in 2018 will see the EBRD increase both the quality and quantity of its projects within the next two years.

Boosting the green economy is an important focus for the future and we are well on our way to meeting a target of 40 per cent green financing by the end of 2020.

As part of our overarching commitment to sustainability we will continue to work on our governance policy revision process and MDB Paris alignment programmes which will be presented at COP25 in 2020. We will also be continuing efforts to improve our environmental footprint, including a review of our in-house carbon footprint and scoping for an environmental management system as part of our overarching commitment to sustainability.

Our focus in the year ahead is even more firmly on implementing our enhanced approach and delivering impact in our regions.