Green financing should be available not only to green projects

On November 30, CREON Group together with WWF Russia announced the results of the Environmental Transparency  Rating of Oil and Gas Companies; the organizers also held a round table discussion for top managers of Russian banks devoted to responsible financing and implementation of ESG criteria in Russia. Andrey Yakushin (Central Bank), Mikhail Avtukhov (Sovcombank), Natalia Tretyak (Gazprombank), Kristina Shunova (Raiffeisenbank) and Pavel Boev (Rosbank) participated in the discussion.

The banks should not completely abandon the ‘brown’ companies in their portfolios. Instead, they should help the companies transform, – this was the main point that all the speakers agreed with.

“The sustainability of the banking business in the long term depends on the sustainability of our clients’ business. It is impossible to go ‘green’ at once, there is no such magic wand that would make us all improve. That is why the value of adaptive projects is the highest, as it is them that are really contributing to making our planet greener,” said Natalia Tretyak, First Vice President of Gazprombank.

“I believe that the instruments of green financing should be accessible not only to the ‘greenest’ companies, which form 1% of the business and are already doing well, having achieved good results. If we work only with such clients, we will not be able to achieve an energy transition for our country’s economy as a whole. Therefore, without a doubt, it should not be about refusing to finance the oil and gas sector, but about helping to transform it,” said Pavel Boev, Head of ESG Banking at Rosbank’s Corporate Business Directorate.

In practice, Rosbank already has clients choosing the ‘green’ agenda. For example, some of the gas companies have already submitted plans for energy transition. Apart from that, Rosbank participated in several landmark deals in other industry segments this year: for example, a syndicated loan for Uralkali for $ 250 million was issued, linked to sustainable development indicators.

More information about the cases at Rosbank and other banks is available in the video version of the round table: