“ProCredit Bank is willing to create a better, healthier environment in our capital as well as throughout the country by financing a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly project.”
ProCredit Bank is a development-oriented commercial bank that offers excellent customer service to small and medium enterprises and private individuals who can save and prefer to do their banking through electronic channels.
Alexander Jashiashvili, Head of the Environmental Management Unit in ProCredit Bank, talked about the ProCredit Bank’s role in urban development, its main achievements, and interesting projects in this direction in an interview with The FINANCIAL. In this article, you will see the central vision and plans of ProCredit Bank in the direction of urban development.
Q: Urban development has become one of the priority tasks nowadays. What does “ProCredit Bank” do in this regard?
A: ProCredit Bank is a member of the international group, operating in Georgia by German standards for more than 23 years. The Bank has been introducing European social, ethical, and environmental approaches to the country over the years. In order to achieve the goals of sustainable development of small and medium businesses, we pay great attention to environmental and social issues in our activities. We strive to minimize the negative environmental impact of our partner businesses.
We advise businesses to achieve this goal and offer professional advice and access to finance.
Q: What is the role of the ProCredit Bank as a responsible financial institution for achieving green goals in the Urban sector?
A: ProCredit Bank has been a leading financial institution in green financing over the last decade and has actively contributed to awareness-raising. As a responsible financial institution, we assess the environmental and social risks associated with doing business at the lending stage. Thus, we help raise awareness in the business sector, create ecological standards and improve existing ones.
The Bank has financed the construction of a number of solar power plants, and such a station is located on the roof of our head office. Our head office building is the first in Georgia to receive the EDGE International Certificate for Energy and Resource Efficiency.
Following our example and in cooperation with international companies, we offer our customers the “EDGE Building Certification Program.”
Building certification confirms the energy and resource efficiency of the building, which means that it consumes less energy and other resources than a standard building. In addition to gaining this advantage in the local market, the company that owns the certified building is also becoming more attractive to investors.
Q: In addition to the Edge certification project, which other successfully implemented projects would you single out in 2020-2022, which contributed to the urban development of Tbilisi?
A: We evaluate the effectiveness of environmentally friendly investments before they are offered to the public. The first beneficiary of any project before launching is ProCredit Bank.
For example, we started the electric car project a few years ago with the renewal of our fleet. Because of gradual replacements today, our fleet consists of only electric vehicles. To make the decision easier for the customer, we arranged the infrastructure so that it could be moved from east to west by electric car without any problems. We have created a network of free charging stations throughout Georgia. In addition, we plan to introduce the Carpool practice of employee departure in the Bank to use the available resources as efficiently as possible. Carpooling is one of the best practices in urban development solutions. Our company’s decision to contribute to such practices serves the aim to use all the possible means to achieve the final goal – to improve the air quality in the city and the country. We strive to set an excellent example for others to follow, especially in a city like Tbilisi, with the high number of cars during the rush hours.
In addition, we encourage our clients to use more environmentally friendly solutions during construction. For example, thermal insulation of the house is essential for efficient electricity consumption in the living environment. By insulating the exterior walls, roof, and floor by installing triple-glazed windows, it is possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 50%. The investment also significantly reduces the monthly cost of heating and air conditioning. The result benefits both the builder and the potential buyer of the apartment and, most importantly, the environment, the city, and each citizen.
In addition, investing in installing a renewable energy source, particularly solar panels, has a positive impact on the environment. This allows customers to replace their traditional source of electricity with constant and clean energy. Implementing the solar power plant project is attractive both in the residential building and in the conditions of your own house or cottage. In this regard, as I mentioned, the Bank has accumulated considerable experience and supported several successful investments. Recently, the efficiency of this investment has increased significantly, as the payback period has been reduced to 5-6 years.
Q: What role does the finance sector, especially ProCredit Bank, have in the future of the city’s urban development?
A: ProCredit Bank offers special terms to its customers to purchase an energy-efficient living environment or improve existing conditions. In addition, German Bank offers financing solar panels without additional collateral, cash-back program support, and technical support.
It is especially noteworthy that the energy efficiency of the building is achieved both by taking appropriate measures during construction and by transforming the built living environment into a resource-efficient.
ProCredit Bank is willing to support more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly projects in the country and provide easy access to financing for SMEs and private individuals.