Beirut, Lebanon, June 3, 2011—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Banque Libano-Francaise today launched
a sustainable energy finance initiative aimed at developing financial products
to help Lebanese companies use resources more efficiently, enhance the
competitiveness of their products and services, and help protect the environment.
High energy costs and unsustainable practices are estimated to cost Lebanese
businesses more than $400 million annually in lost profits and have a negative
impact on the local environment. To address these challenges, IFC
is partnering with Banque Libano-Francaise in the first sustainable energy
finance project with a bank in the Middle East and North Africa region,
aimed at expanding access to finance for projects that will save—or promote
the efficient use of—energy and other resources.
Walid Raphael, General Manager of Banque Libano-Francaise, said, "In
addition to initiating this partnership with IFC, Banque Libano-Francaise
is at the forefront of sustainable and renewable energy projects in Lebanon.
It has already launched a number of green products and awareness programs."
Luke Haggarty, Head of IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North
Africa, said, “Promoting resource efficiency is a key part of IFC’s strategy
in Lebanon, and this new sustainable energy financing project between Banque
Libano-Francaise and IFC will help save businesses money while promoting
Over the coming year, the project will support strategic product development
and provide sustainable energy finance training and tools, allowing Banque
Libano-Francaise to offer clients energy and resource efficiency opportunities.
This project will enable the bank to rapidly scale up sustainability-related
lending to meet the energy needs of the Lebanese market, particularly small
and medium businesses looking to increase their resource efficiency.
This sustainable energy financing project also is supported by Finland;
the UK’s Department for International Development, DFID; and the Islamic
Development Bank. The project also is being launched at the same time as
the Lebanon Green Building Council, with IFC’s support, is unveiling its
new ARZ Building Rating System, a tool to encourage commercial building
owners in the country to undertake renovations that save money and reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global
economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.