Measuring outcomes is one of the defining characteristics of impact investing. As the development bank of the Republic of Austria, OeEB invests in economically sustainable and developmentally sensible private sector projects in developing and emerging countries. In its current Impact Report, it discloses the development effects achieved through its investments. For example, 1.19 million tons of CO2 emissions could be saved through OeEB-supported projects, more than 297,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises received access to loans.
"Strengthening the private sector, creating qualified jobs and local income, further expanding renewable energy and actively contributing to climate protection - these goals are firmly anchored in our strategy and are more important than ever in view of the current global challenges," explain OeEB board members Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata.
Since 2008, OeEB, which is mandated by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, has been contributing to economic development in developing and emerging countries. In addition to providing financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, OeEB focuses on financing renewable energy projects in order to make a sustainable contribution to climate protection and improving energy supply. In all projects, OeEB ensures compliance with high environmental, social and human rights standards. At the end of 2021, OeEB's total portfolio reached EUR 1.474 billion.
Better living conditions through a lively economy
“Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the economy in many developing and emerging countries. However, their development is often significantly restricted due to a lack of access to capital. By providing financing to local banks or funds, we can help bridge this gap, enabling economic growth and job creation – a key requirement for poverty reduction,” said Michael Wancata.
Overall, 48% of OeEB's portfolio contributed to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 "Decent work and economic growth". Around 329,000 people were employed in the projects and companies that received financing from OeEB. More than 297,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises gained access to loans through OeEB projects.
Financing climate-friendly growth
Developing countries are disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change. "Our goal is to invest an average of at least 40% of our new business in climate finance in the years 2019-2023 and to achieve a climate-neutral portfolio by 2050 at the latest," explains Sabine Gaber. Around 41% of OeEB's project portfolio is currently invested in climate-related projects. This means that OeEB is once again one of the largest Austrian contributors to international climate finance. “Climate change is a global challenge and requires cooperation on all levels. We are therefore pleased to once again be a partner of the Austrian World Summit, which will take place in Vienna on June 14 and offers one of the largest international platforms for discussion and finding solutions to the climate crisis.”
With around 27% of its portfolio, OeEB made a contribution to SDG 7 "Affordable and Clean Energy". More than 2,900 MW of new power generation capacity and 6,190 GWh of electricity from renewable energy sources were created in OeEB's projects. Around 34% of OeEB's portfolio contributed to the achievement of SDG 13 "Climate Protection". OeEB-supported projects helped save 1.19 million tons of CO2 emissions and more than 1.5 million people could be supplied with clean energy.
In addition to credit financing and equity investments, OeEB also offers its customers accompanying technical assistance measures that are intended to strengthen the development effects of the investments. "For example, we can support customers in the implementation of environmental and social management systems or certification according to international standards. We can also offer support for targeted programs in the areas of climate protection or gender equality. For example, a 'gender-lens-investment' training was implemented in a Jordanian small business lending institution using technical assistance funds from OeEB. This is intended to raise awareness of the needs of women-led companies," says Sabine Gaber.
Further information can be found in the current OeEB Impact Report 2021.