Green Assets Wallet plans to drive green capital into African countries

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Delivering real-world impact: As Africa sits on significant sustainable investment potential, the Green Assets Wallet plans to drive green capital into the region

Africa calls for immense infrastructure investments in the near future, both to support economic growth and to cope with extreme weather events, such as droughts and flooding, caused by climate change. More and more African countries are recognising the need to shift to sustainable and climate resilient economies through viable green investments.

Responsible investors globally are increasingly concerned with delivering real-world impact through sustainable investment strategies. Yet, few of them allocate green capital in Africa. The Green Assets Wallet is set on changing this, showing that delivering real-world impact and making a good return on investment can be compatible.

In Kenya, for example, costs resulting from climate change impact are estimated at over 2% of GDP per year. Having recognised the economic and financial risks this translates to, Kenya has become a pioneer in green finance in the region. It was therefore no surprise that Stockholm Green Digital Finance (SGDF) and the Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC) Authority co-organized the workshop ‘Green FinTech Opportunities for Kenya’, on 1st October 2019, hosted by the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), just as Acorn Holdings issued Kenya’s first green bond.

It’s Time for Kenya   

Kenya has plenty of success stories to tell and yet much of the world is to recognize and support the nation’s investment in green energy. With 70% of its electricity capacity coming from renewable energy sources (this is more than three times the global average), Kenya hopes to reach 100% in the medium term. This ambitious target requires much needed capital to finance the transition.

With several robust policy and regulatory frameworks in place for a functioning green capital market, Kenya is among the leaders (not just in Africa) in terms of offering favourable conditions for green investments. Examples include the recent landmark decision of zero-rates withholding taxes on green bonds, concerted efforts such as the Green Bond Programme and different codes of conduct to promote sustainability in capital markets. However, there is still a long way to go.  

The same week the SGDF/NIFC workshop on ‘Green FinTech Opportunities for Kenya’ was held in Nairobi, Acorn Holdings (a Nairobi-based property developer and one of the workshop participants) raised an equivalent of USD 41.45 million during the first issuance of a green bond in Kenya. The money will go towards building sustainable student housing.

 “There was such a great atmosphere at the workshop. We deep-dived into the Green Assets Wallet and discussed opportunities and challenges in Kenya’s green debt market. I was delighted that Acorn was with us at the workshop and shared their experience on launching Kenya’s first green bond.” Linn Ternsjö, Project Manager, Stockholm Green Digital Finance.

The workshop was also a good opportunity to receive insights for a Green Assets Wallet Guide, specifically targeted to African countries. The main objective of this soon to be published Guide is to support the process of greening capital markets in Africa. Targeting potential issuers, investors and validators in less mature markets - but where the need and potential for green finance is high – the Guide would give a solid introduction to the Green Assets Wallet.  

The Green Assets Wallet – Building a Bridge to Africa

David Irungu, Hillary Cheruiyot Biwott, Esther Gitonga, Númi Östlund, Jeddidga Ndungu, and Linn Ternsjö at the Green FinTech workshop

David Irungu, Hillary Cheruiyot Biwott, Esther Gitonga, Númi Östlund, Jeddidga Ndungu, and Linn Ternsjö at the Green FinTech workshop

Awareness that environmental risks such as climate risks can translate into financial risks is growing fast in the region. For the green finance market to take off however, capital actors in Kenya must first define principles of green finance that make sense in the local context. On one hand, investor confidence is still low (corporate bonds have not done so well in the past) and identifying green investment opportunities has proven to be difficult. Potential issuers of green bonds on the other hand fear low returns due to high diligence fees and information on potential projects and their green impact has been limited so far. These market failures can in part be overcome using the Green Assets Wallet.

 "We believe that the blockchain technology behind the Green Assets Wallet can be really helpful in improving trust for the corporate bond market in Kenya. Investors can be confident that the information is validated in a way that cannot be changed and everyone can have immutable records," said David Irungu, Head of Business Development, Nairobi Securities Exchange.

The Wallet is a technology that supports the scaling up of the green debt market and bridges green investors with potential investment opportunities through cost efficient and immutable verification of green impact. The technology also sets out clear indicators and units through which issuers can report positive impact back to investors.

“The Green Assets Wallet is the catalyser to making sustainable investment opportunities accessible to investors globally looking for real-world impact in Africa,” explained Cecilia Repinski, Executive Director Stockholm Green Digital Finance

Harald Francke Lund moderating a panel discussion on the current state of the green bond market with Cecilia Murai, Victor Nkiiri, and Hillary Cheruiyot Biwott

Harald Francke Lund moderating a panel discussion on the current state of the green bond market with Cecilia Murai, Victor Nkiiri, and Hillary Cheruiyot Biwott

The Wallet is an innovative blockchain solution that essentially closes the green investment gap. It injects efficiency and trust into the green debt market, allowing for a wider range of green asset classes to demonstrate trust. Through efficient methods for tracking and third-party oversight, the platform increases investor confidence, that lacks in emerging markets and allows for green loans to take off.

According to Númi Östlund, Senior Advisor Emerging Markets for the Green Assets Wallet and Director of AidHedge, “there is an untapped potential in green bonds for fuelling sustainable growth in Africa, and Kenya’s market is currently at a tipping point, where green finance could potentially restart the country’s bond market.”

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Kenya has developed a framework for the issuance of its first sovereign green bond . This would make Kenya the first country in East and Central Africa to issue a sovereign green bond.  The Green Assets Wallet could not come at a better time to harness the momentum seen in Kenya and other African nations. Here, green investments in key sectors such as energy, transportation, agriculture and infrastructure are currently promoting economic growth. The Green Assets Wallet supports the wider financial sector innovation through the development of domestic green bond markets, essential for these vital investments.

“Kenya’s green bond market is at the nascent stage and the use of technology to provide solutions to challenges, experienced by stakeholders in other markets, is a great initiative, as it can help us leapfrog some of these issues here. The Green Assets Wallet has the potential to help scale the green bond market, especially in emerging markets. The workshop provided a good opportunity for local investors and potential issuers to see first-hand how the Wallet makes the whole process more efficient and transparent.” Oscar Njuguna, Senior Business Development Manager, Nairobi International Financial Centre Authority 

Brussels picking up sustainable fintech

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One of the key challenges faced by the global financial system today is to support sustainable activities and the transition to sustainable finance. Digital transformation including AI, IoT, Big Data and blockchain have all been identified by global and EU institutions as potential drivers to mobilize sustainable finance.

On October 2-3, the European Banking Federation organized its annual European Banking Summit in Brussels. This year, the Federation put extra emphasis on sustainable digital finance.

Martin Spolc, Head of Capital Markets at the European Commission announced that fintech was a topic on the sustainable finance agenda, and that the Commission is breaking silos. Mr Spolc should know, he is in charge of a newly installed unit looking at both Fintech and Sustainable Finance at the European Commission.

Mr Spolc further mentioned the potential using blockchain to simplify the intricate processes between various intermediaries. The Sustainable Digital Finance Alliance recently launched a report with HSBC looking into the possible future benefits of trading green bonds on blockchain. To date, Spanish bank BBVA is the first private bank that has launched a green bond on the blockchain. The Green Assets Wallet developed by Stockholm Green Digital Finance and partners is today one of few practical use cases, ready for market implementation later this year.  A possible future development of the Green Assets Wallet could very well be financial transactions if it would further support sustainable debt investments, according to Cecilia Repinski at Stockholm Green Digital Finance.

Looking into equity investments, Thomas Verhagen from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership proposed a concept that would provide better information to pension investors about the sustainability impacts they have through their choice of pension investments. See image.

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Not just start-ups are looking at solutions for sustainable fintech, big tech firms also contributed to the discussion including Microsoft and Barclays. Nicole Sandler at Barclays challenged regulators on faster regulatory processes, while Andrés Alonso of the Spanish Central Bank called for the importance of a well thought through line of action when developing new policies and regulations.

There was unison agreement on that technology can be one solution of many. Before turning to technology, one needs to know where to go, and why.

Blockchain in Energy Forum

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Green Assets Wallet is showcased during Climate Week NYC at the Blockchain in Energy Forum

“Being in New York during Climate Action Week and presenting the Green Assets Wallet was inspiring. This was a great catalyser for GAW as a tool to scale up green finance.” Bernhard Schiessl, Advisor Climate Finance, CICERO and partner to the Green Assets Wallet.

As New York was clearing up its streets from the youth protests and the busyness leading up to the Climate Action Summit, Bernhard presented the Green Assets Wallet (GAW) at the latest Blockchain in Energy Forum on September 25, 2019. The event, hosted by Greentech Media, was designed to help utility firms to successfully deploy or utilize blockchain technology for new energy solutions.

Bernhard Schiessl speaking during the panel

Bernhard Schiessl speaking during the panel

The key takeaway from the conference was that blockchain is becoming more and more a standard architecture - a tool to facilitate processes for utilities. During the panel, ‘A whole new level of transparency: The impact of blockchain on renewable credit tracking and green financing’ Bernhard showcased how GAW works to support the scaling up of green finance, especially in the context of emerging markets.

“The largest institutional investors in the world still collect impact data on green finance manually. With GAW, this is a thing of the past. The data, for example from utility companies, are recorded on the blockchain, tracked, validated and visible in investors‘ portfolios.“

As large asset managers and financial data providers are still collecting data manually to generate impact reports, for example from energy and utility companies, the Green Assets Wallet stands as an efficient and highly time-saving platform, providing immutable and trustworthy data.

The blockchain architecture of GAW delivers additional value through collection and validation of impact from different actors, especially in emerging markets. The Wallet is designed to make investible green projects available and accessible to investors, hence supporting the ambitions laid out to scale up green finance.

Green Finance – from Transition to Transformation

World leaders had gathered at the Climate Action Summit on 23 September, not far from the streets, where two days prior thousands of young people marched to join the global climate protest. The meeting was explicitly convened to push countries to do more to fight the climate crisis.

“The finance sector is instrumental for successful delivery of the SDGs, and it is such a reward being able to work on concrete solutions for mobilizing sustainable investment at a greater scale,” said Cecilia Repinski, Executive Director of Stockholm Green Digital Finance and project lead of the Green Assets Wallet.

To keep global temperatures below 1.5 °C, in line with the Paris Agreement, climate finance and green investments were explicitly outlined as key areas during the Summit. In a recent press release it was announced that a group of the world’s largest asset-owners (responsible for directing more than $2 trillion in investments) have committed to move to carbon-neutral investment portfolios by 2050. Furthermore, 130 banks (one-third of the global banking sector) signed up to align their businesses with the Paris Agreement and 12 countries made financial commitments to the Green Climate Fund (the official financial mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices). This came as an addition to announcements from Norway, Germany, France and the UK that have recently doubled their present contributions.

The 2019 Fintech for Tomorrow Challenge - extended deadline for applications 4th October

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Finance for Tomorrow call for more applications to its Fintech for Tomorrow Challenge and extends its deadline to October 4. The international winner will receive a one-month stay in Paris with access to an office, workshops and personalized coaching to discover the French market. The winner will be announced at the high level Climate Finance Day in Paris on November 29. Get ready to apply!

The Green Assets Wallet goes to Africa - collaboration with the Nairobi International Financial Centre

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Can digital solutions help new players in African markets to secure green debt?

A key purpose of the Green Assets Wallet is to help scale the green debt market, improve transparency for investors, and reward credible actors – especially in emerging markets where we see a huge untapped potential of investable green projects. In October, we’re going to Kenya where we co-host an interactive workshop on the Green Assets Wallet together with the Nairobi Securities Exchange and the Nairobi International Financial Centre. Key participating actors include the Capital Markets Authority who just approved the issuance of Kenya’s first unlisted green bond. Under the lead of Numi Östlund, AidHedge, we are also co-developing a guide directed to African markets on issues such as how to package green projects into a bond and use digital solutions to access global investors.

Stay tuned for the release of the African Guide later this year!

Can fintech accelerate green finance in Central and South Asia?

As leaders in green finance convene in Astana, Kazakstan, this week to discuss how to green the financial system in South Asia, fintech is on the agenda.

Fintech solutions for green finance was on the agenda in Kazakstan this week. With a growing number of investors looking for opportunities to invest in sustainable finance there is a growing need for green capital reallocation. Fintech solutions can assist with this in a several ways, from providing the computing power for big data analysis of datasets and methodologies to standardise green reporting, making it easier for investors to monitor their green investments, to creating digital platforms to facilitate green capital markets issuances, even on a smaller scale, allowing a greater number of issuers to access the capital markets for their green financing needs.

Linn Ternsjö, Project Coordinator for the Green Assets Wallet introduced the technology platform that, in particular, is designed to support new issuers in emerging markets to enter the green debt market.

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Green Assets Wallet reaches several technological milestones ahead of market launch

The one of a kind blockchain platform for green investments moves from Proof of Concept (PoC) to a permanent technology and enhances user experience for best performance and functionality 

A clean user-interface, enhanced performance, more convenience, and better functionalities such as aggregated green impact reporting and improved search functions are just some of the development milestones the Green Assets Wallet achieved over the last months.

Green Assets Wallet technology

Green Assets Wallet technology

GAW tech milestones – preparing for launch

It has been a busy year for the GAW team and partners. The platform has finally moved from a PoC to a permanent technology team under the lead of Stockholm Green Digital Finance (SGDF) and key partners CICERO (Center for International Climate Research and the leading global provider of Second Opinions on green bonds), and 4ire Labs, a blockchain consulting firm.

Having migrated to a Chromia production network it now provides the wallet with a hosting environment for transparent applications (TApps), making a diversity of providers available to the platform in an open market. One of the key points of Chromia (by ChromaWay, a blockchain pioneer and key partner of SGDF) is that it is like a conventional database. The blockchain sits over it and makes sure all nodes agree. During normal operation it works similar to an SQL server or Oracle, hence it is very easy to attach standard MS Office or Business Intelligence tools.

“Chromia is much more convenient for us as developers. It has made it easier for us to vastly improve user experience, the reporting system and search functionalities. In the future we will investigate how to add information to the GAW even more efficiently. This would be especially useful for issuers with many green projects,” said Kirill Kirikov, partner at 4ire Labs.

Technology driven platforms benefit from strong network effects which can drive attractive unit economics. As more people join the wallet, there will be a more robust track record. This will improve the overall model, as it allows for more accurate assessments for example of credit risk (through aggregated reporting and other data) and potentially increase returns for investors. Consequently, more investors and lenders will join the platform.

Innovative initiatives such as GAW could provide additional means to boost investor confidence in the underlying quality of green financial instruments (Asian Development Bank Institute 2018).

 “The transparency and immutable history on the blockchain gives investors the confidence to trust issuers and allows for strong audit trails. Alongside this, code on the blockchain is also transparent, so green impact calculations are always performed using the same fair method. No surprises, and no arguments about rounding errors!” Thomas Barker, Senior Blockchain Expert and Advisor, SGDF

Fintech 2.0 is here to stay – GAW is the latest tech innovation in an underserved market

There is no doubt that Fintech has reached centre stage in the world of finance. This together with the fact that green investments are a market well underserved (green bonds are still less than 1% of total bonds issued), gives the Green Assets Wallet the competitive edge it needs, before launching end of the year.

Fintech is not new, but the technologies are advancing at an enormous pace. Their efficiency, speed and transparency are causing quite the disruptive impact across the board in the finance industry. Combining the openness of the internet and the safety of cryptography, it is a fast and safe way to exchange information and verify trust. Benefits of this technological shift are vast.

“A lot of people dismiss blockchain / DLT as just being slightly slower databases for people that are not allowed to trust each other. The GAW reminds us that is often exactly what these institutions actually need!” Thomas Barker, Senior Blockchain Expert and Advisor, SGDF

The Green Assets Wallet could not come at a better time, where the capital needs to implement the Paris Agreement and the SDGs are far from being satisfied. The climate finance gap alone is USD 2.5-4.8 trillion, equivalent to USD 166-322 billion per year in additional investments according to the Green Bank Network (2016). GAW applies the concept of sustainability attribution to green investments by effectively channelling private institutional capital to green projects globally, and specifically supporting green emerging market investments.

The next steps – spreading the benefits of technology

According to a fintech analysis by UNEP (2016), blockchain-use for core markets and exchanging value could still take a long time to reach industrial scale. Even though the technology would improve the cost and capital efficiency for financial institutions in the long run. This would come from removing intermediaries during trades and from faster settlement times.

The GAW is designed to do just that, i.e. the wallet empowers investors to make sound financial and sustainable choices using open and validated data. In addition, automation drives the ease of use and brings costs further down. At the same time, it equips green investors with the technology to better deliver on the Paris Climate Agreement and the SDGs. Harald Lund, CEO CICERO Shades of Green, summarised the key benefits of the Green Assets Wallet as, that it provides low cost transparency, quality assurance and direct access to issuer impact reports.

 “We are on track for market launch and very excited to see all these beneficial changes happening on the platform. We have received much positive feedback from user demos on the wallet and cannot wait for market launch in a few months,” said Cecilia Repinski Executive Director at Stockholm Green Digital Finance.

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Next steps for the Green Assets Wallet

  • Overall upscaling: adding more content (issuers, bonds, projects, reports)

  • Investigate how to automatize import of issuer and project data

  • Global roadshow and demonstrations in Africa, Latin America, North America and Asia

As blockchain technology continues to disrupt the finance sector through decentralization, immutability, and cost/capital efficiencies, we are delighted to be part of this revolution in helping build this trust, transparency and traceability in green investment transactions,” explained Cecilia. “We hope that the Green Assets Wallet will have an impact beyond in the sustainability transition of the real economy through green capital allocation, where it is mostly needed.”

The Green Assets Wallet in Mexico

The GAW project engages the Mexican Bankers Association and other financial actors to promote fintech solutions for sustainable development.

Having only just begun our second phase, the Green Assets Wallet (GAW) has already received very positive feedback from key market players across the world, one of them being the Mexican Banking Association (ABM). Last month, our GAW partner CICERO were in Mexico City with a Swedish Delegation to learn more and present on green finance market trends. 

Sophie Dejonckheere, Senior Climate Finance Adviser at CICERO, presenting on the GAW to members of the ABM.

Sophie Dejonckheere, Senior Climate Finance Adviser at CICERO, presenting on the GAW to members of the ABM.

In a workshop to ten members of the ABM, including the Mexican SME development bank, HSBC and Citi, Sophie Dejonckheere from CICERO discussed challenges and solutions to finance sustainable development. The green bond market, for example, has demonstrated huge success but it is still far from reaching its full potential. This is where the GAW technology comes in!

Being on an immutable blockchain, GAW injects efficiency and transparency to the green bond market and therefore brings more credible and high-impact investment opportunities to investors. In turn, issuers are able to showcase their investment offerings to global investors and demonstrate transparency through validation and impact reporting.

Several members of the ABM expressed their interest in participating in the GAW project’s second phase. We will be engaging issuers globally in the coming months and are very excited about collaborating with the Mexican market.

Stockholm Green Digital Finance launches the Green Assets Wallet innovation project phase 2

During 2019 the Green Assets Wallet will be brought to the market at scale

Last week on 4th June, Stockholm Green Digital Finance convened GAW project partners and other stakeholders to Norrsken House to discuss the exciting tasks ahead for the Green Assets Wallet (GAW) phase 2.

The GAW is a blockchain-based open source platform designed to deliver efficiency and transparency to the green debt market by immutable validation and reporting of green impacts. The ultimate objective is to scale the flow of green investments, in order to support delivery on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change through the operations of financial markets.

The GAW has now entered its second phase with new team members and ambitious objectives for the coming 7 months. Key actions include:

  1. Technology: We are wrapping up remaining technological elements and user experience features. Together with ChromaWay and 4ire Labs, we will deliver excellent application usability and high IT security.

  2. Market: We will collaborate with key actors in the market to demonstrate their green credentials on the platform. Together with CICERO, the leading global provider of second opinions on the frameworks for green bond frameworks, we will engage issuers globally. In parallel we will investigate how GAW can serve up-and-coming actors in the African market.

  3. Long-term: We will establish a long-term governance model for the technology that ensures resilience and longevity.

Representatives from Stockholm Green Digital Finance, CICERO, ChromaWay and 4ire Labs.

Representatives from Stockholm Green Digital Finance, CICERO, ChromaWay and 4ire Labs.

The Green Assets Wallet project partners include: ChromaWay, CICERO, 4ire Labs, SEB, Öhman, MISTRA, Vasakronan, Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre, CECEP, GIB, and the Emerging Markets Dialogue on Finance.

The GAW continues to be funded and co-developed by the Emerging Market Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD) at the Deutsch Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre (SSFC) is also supporting the GAW phase 2.  More information on the GAW can be found here.

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We are looking for an Application Development Partner for the Green Assets Wallet project

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The Green Assets Wallet (GAW) is a blockchain based technology developed to help scale the green debt market. The technology is the result of a co-creative process between leading capital market actors, technology innovators and green finance experts under the lead of Stockholm Green Digital Finance.

During 2018, the consortium developed the first version of the technology (Minimum Viable Product) to be found at www.greenassetswallet.org. Going forward, May – December 2019, we are taking the technology to full market scalability.

The Green Assets Wallet has gained broad international recognition. Collaborating in the Green Assets Wallet project is an opportunity to work with a highly committed and uniquely composed team, be part of an effort that innovates for the good of society, and gain high international visibility.

About the technology

The Green Assets Wallet technology offers three applications for investors in green debt, issuers of green debt, and validators of green deliverables. Further, it offers the following three main features; validation of green deliverables, impact reporting of green impact and the inherent transparency and trust of the blockchain platform. The blockchain platform is delivered by ChromaWay who will provide the Application Development Partner with the guidance and support to build the GAW Application. This includes training in GraphQL and RELL. Because of the work during 2018, the technology specifications for the GAW Application development work in 2019 are very precise and clear. For more information, visit www.greenassetswallet.org or GitHub.

About the project owner

Stockholm Green Digital Finance is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate green finance through fintech solutions. Scaling capital flows towards sustainable projects and companies are a prerequisite to successfully deliver on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. At Stockholm Green Digital Finance, we identify the barriers in the financial system that hinders capital market actors from delivering on their full potential with the aim of enabling the finance sector to leverage high impact investments. www.stockholmgreenfin.tech

About the financier

The project is funded and co-developed by the Emerging Markets Dialogue on Finance (EMDF), which is a project of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is not-for-profit and the result serves the common good.

Procurement process

We approximate that over our initial 7 month development period (Mid-May – Mid-December), the project will require:

  • 1 full-time Node.js/browser developer with a focus on UI

  • 1 half-time equivalent senior Node.js developer with experience of systems integration

The developers will work closely with Stockholm Green Digital Finance and with ChromaWay (and receive free training in GraphQL and RELL). We have a strong preference for appointing the developers over the entire project to avoid re-training.

We want the Application Development Partner to start working with us on 1st May. We will compare three actors. Please send applications and questions to gaw@stockholmgreenfin.tech. We will conduct our assessment through interviews, sample work and references.

Sustainable Finance and FinTech in Europe Workshop

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“Sustainable Finance and FinTech in Europe” is a study by the UN Environment Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) European platform in collaboration with Stockholm Green Digital Finance. It marks the start of the FC4S Europe Fintech Innovation Workstream on the intersection of Sustainability – Finance -Technology. FC4S Europe activities are supported by EU EIT Climate-KIC.

The initial study maps out FinTech applications in the European region that advance capital flows towards sustainable companies and projects. The objective is twofold - to support policy makers in the European Union around the synergies between Sustainable Finance and FinTech; and to serve as a starting point for FC4S Network global work in the field.

Date & time
20th March 2019, 3pm – 5pm

Venue
Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the European Union, 75, avenue de Cortenbergh, B-1000 Brussels

Workshop Program

3 pm. Welcome remarks

Pierre Ducret, Co-Chair, Financial Centres for Sustainability Network
• Introducing FC4S & FC4S role in supporting EC efforts
• Round of introductions

3.10 pm. Introducing EU EIT Climate-KIC

Scott Williams, Director Decision, Metrics & Finance, EIT Climate-KIC

3.15 pm. Sustainable Finance and FinTech in Europe - the study

Cecilia Repinski, Executive Director, Stockholm Green Digital Finance & member of FC4S Network
• Methodology and assessment framework
• Presentation of findings
• Questions and reflections from attendees

3.40 pm. Selected cases

Diana Kaliff, Stockholm Green Digital Finance
• Deep diving into selected cases
• Questions and reflections from attendees

4.00 pm. Open Innovation Platform (OIP)

Anna Asikainen, OIP Project Manager South Pole Group & member FC4S Europe Working Group
• Introducing the platform

4.15 pm. Realising the EC Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth

Martin Spolc, Head of Sustainable Finance & Fintech Unit, DG FISMA, European Commission

4.25 pm. Discussion

Facilitated by Cecilia Repinski, Stockholm Green Digital Finance
• Updates from FC4S members on respective fintech initiative
• Agenda setting for FC4S FinTech strategy
• Next steps

4.55 pm. Closing

Pierre Ducret, Co-chair Financial Centres for Sustainability Network

The Green Assets Wallet Launch – Blockchain Meets Finance

As country representatives are due to meet at the global climate conference in Poland next month, the financial gaps to reach the climate targets, loom heavily above everybody’s head. Signed by 195 countries, the Paris Agreement is the first global and legally binding climate deal.

The Green Assets Wallet (GAW), an innovative blockchain-based platform to validate green investments, aims to tear down some of the barriers that hamper capital flow into more sustainable initiatives. The platform will be officially launched at Climate Finance Day in Paris on November 27, 2018.

 
 

Digitalisation Unlocks Climate Action

Significant investments are needed to reach the climate targets of the Paris Agreement and to fulfil the ambitions of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCATD) estimated $5 to $7 trillion are required. At the same time a recent report by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission estimated that achieving the SDGs could open up to $12 trillion of market opportunities and 380 million new jobs by 2030.

Unlikely to reach the 2˚C target, barriers to finance decarbonisation projects and sustainable initiatives seem to be around plenty: market incentives are lacking, government regulation and policies are often not in place, and market-driven solutions are missing. At the recent Climate Innovation Summit, Harald Rauter from ClimateKic emphasized that digitalisation, data analysis and data encryption and –transaction (such as blockchain and associated distributed ledger technologies) are key levers for a successful transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Mind the Gap – Fintech Links Money to Impact

Digitalisation may be one of the keys to unlock the necessary capital to finance climate and sustainable action. The Green Assets Wallet is a practical solution as it cuts costs for green bond issuers for verification and reporting of green promises on one hand; and injects trust and transparency for investors on the other, making a wider range of investment opportunities accessible.

“The launch of the Green Assets Wallet could not come at a more fitting time. 2018 is the year of milestones in sustainable finance. A mere decade ago the World Bank issued the very first green bond. Vasakronan, one of our partners, was the first company in the world to issue a green bond, exactly five years ago around the same time as Gothenburg became the first city to issue green bonds,” said Cecilia Repinski, Executive Director, Stockholm Green Digital Finance.

By reducing costs, increasing efficiency and validity in impact reporting the platform essentially accelerates the market for green investments. New issuers or issuers from emerging markets that sit on potentially high impact projects can demonstrate trust and successfully attract investments.

“Being part of this unique initiative and taking green financing to the next level is exhilarating. We hope that together with our partners, the Green Assets Wallet will attract more interest and gain momentum in the market. The platform’s setup and transparency make it a win-win situation for all, including those that benefit from where green capital is invested, such as in developing countries.”

The GAW was developed to meet the growing appetite for creative solutions in the green debt market. Leading investors and emerging and developing market issuers have shown strong interest in the applied technology. It could be a potential game changer in support of levering high impact green debt transactions globally.

The project is funded and co-developed by the Emerging Markets Dialogue on Finance (EMDF), which is a project of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). A full description of the initiative and its partners can be found here.

Scaling Up the Green Debt Market through Blockchain-Based Technology

Green Assets Wallet is Launched at Climate Finance Day

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Paris, France: The Green Assets Wallet (GAW), an innovative blockchain-based platform, where issuers and investors of green debt come together, was launched today (27 November 2018) at Climate Finance Day in Paris.

The Green Assets Wallet aims to overcome the current barriers in the green debt market, allowing for transparency and efficiency, cutting the costs for issuers, while delivering trust to investors. It provides solutions to upscale the green debt market to its fullest potential.

“Our mission is to use fintech as a lever for delivering the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. To deliver these goals by 2030, trillions of dollars of private investment are needed. The Green Assets Wallet is one innovative solution to overcome the barriers to scale the flow of green investments,” said Cecilia Repinski, Executive Director, Stockholm Green Digital Finance

With investors, issuers and validators in mind, GAW has three applications on offer. It makes high impact investment opportunities accessible to potential investors and allows them to efficiently and transparently assess and monitor impact. The platform also supports emerging market issuers to successfully demonstrate credentials and attract investment for green activities.

“By digitalizing impact reporting and embedding this into a blockchain, the Green Assets Wallet gives investors easy, reliable environmental impact information,” explained Erika Wranegård, Fixed Income Manager, Öhman Asset Management.

Stockholm Green Digital Finance and its partners developed the blockchain-based technology around three key objectives: (1) Validation of green investments, (2) Impact reporting, and (3) Trust to support issuers in emerging and developing markets. One of the main goals was for capital to be channelled where the needs are greatest, for example for high impact climate and environmental projects, that otherwise may not have been financed.

 “It is great to see such a profound drive and action around the World Bank's 10-year green bond anniversary. We find it both important and exciting to see the latest technological developments merge with the forces that are driving the transition to a green and sustainable economy,” said Christopher Flensborg, Head of Climate & Sustainable Finance, SEB.

The Green Assets Wallet is currently securing more funding to increase user friendliness, branch out into more sectors and include more impact units. Further developments include the integration with smart technologies for better reporting and unlocking more efficiency potentials as well as scaling up the supply of green bonds.

The Green Assets Wallet is a collaboration of leading capital market actors, green finance experts, and technology innovators that under the lead of Stockholm Green Digital Finance, co-created this platform to deliver a new system for validation and impact reporting of green debt. The ground-breaking platform was designed to scale up the green debt market and equip green investors with the necessary technology to better deliver the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A full description of the initiative and its partners can be found here.

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PROJECT PARTNERS

More information

Launch of the Green Assets Wallet at Climate Finance Day, 27 November 2018, 5:45 pm CEST, Paris, France

Climate Finance Day, 26-28 November 2018, Paris, France

Stockholm Green Digital Finance

The Green Assets Wallet is a collaboration of sustainable fintech innovation hub Stockholm Green Digital Finance, blockchain engineering company ChromaWay, the climate research institute CICERO, the Nordic financial services group SEB, the asset manager Öhman, real estate developer Vasakronan, asset owner Mistra, geographic data provider GIB, China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP) as well as the Emerging Markets Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD) and the Emerging Markets Dialogue on Finance (EMDF), co-lead and funder of the project which is are projects of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commissioned and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Contact

Cecilia Repinski, Executive Director, Stockholm Green Digital Finance
Email: cecilia@stockholmgreenfin.tech
Phone: +46 76 198 18 88

Launch event for the Green Assets Wallet

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The Green Assets Wallet is the result of a unique consortium of leading capital market actors, green finance experts and technology innovators who, under the lead of Stockholm Green Digital Finance, have co-created a technology platform to support issuers of, and investors in, green debt.

Join us at Climate Finance Day for a pre-dinner cocktail as the very first version of the Green Assets Wallet is launched, followed by a discussion around the potential of digital solutions for scaling green investments. The event will be rounded up by a hands-on demonstration of the technology.

You need to be registered for the Climate Finance Day to attend. Registration to the GAW launch is recommended by 22 November.

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AGENDA

5:45 pm — Registration & cocktail reception

6 pm — Welcome remarks
Ulrich Wehnert, Head of Section Global Policy, GIZ

The Green Assets Wallet

Cecilia Repinski, Executive Director, Stockholm Green Digital Finance

Panels moderated by Yannick Motz, Emerging Markets Dialogue on Finance, GIZ


Panel 1: Why we co-developed the Green Assets Wallet 

Erika Wranegård, Fund Manager, Öhman Green Bond Fund, Öhman
Christopher Kaminker, Head of Research, Climate & Sustainable Finance, SEB
Harald Francke Lund, Head of Second Opinion, CICERO
Cecilia Repinski, Stockholm Green Digital Finance


Panel 2: How digital innovation can support scaling green investments

Philippe Zaouati, CEO, Mirova
Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Global Head Sustainable Investments, BnP Paribas
Jinny Yan, Managing Director, Chief China Economist, ICBC
Jane Wilkinson, Head of Sustainable Finance, Luxembourg Stock Exchange


Live demonstration of the Green Assets Wallet - featuring SolTech Energy

Diana Kaliff, Project Manager, Stockholm Green Digital Finance
August Botsford, Technical Director, ChromaWay
Frederic Telander, Chairman, SolTech Energy

7:45 pm — End notes
The event is scheduled to end in time for the gala dinner starting at 8 pm.

LOCATION:
Climate Finance Day
Club du Palais, Palais Brongniart
16 Place de la Bourse
75002 Paris
Google Maps >

DATE:
November 27th 2018
5:45 pm to 7:50 pm

Green Assets Wallet demoed in Shanghai Tower

To go the farthest, you need to stand the tallest: the Green Assets Wallet demoed in Shanghai Tower

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The UN-led Financial Centers 4 Sustainability (FC4S) network convened members in Shanghai for its second official network meeting, gathering members from Toronto to Hong Kong. Stockholm Green Digital Finance, being a founding member to the FC4S Network, organized a demonstration and panel discussion at the FC4S public event in Shanghai’s tallest building, Shanghai Tower. The choice of venue corresponding well to the Chinese saying “to go the farthest, you need to stand the tallest” and the tall ambition of the Green Assets Wallet to accelerate green finance.

The Green Assets Wallet session was moderated by Lan Qi, GIZ China, and participants could hear from all user sides of the upcoming technology. Erika Wranegård at Öhman demonstrated the technology talking about the benefits for investors to access transparent and reliable impact reporting in one place.

Chairil Nazri Ahmad from UiTM shared their experience issuing a green bond stating that “if the GAW would only take away 10% of the time required for a green bond issuance, that would be a significant time saver” adding that the GAW also presents the opportunity to access global investors directly. He Chang from the GAW’s latest project partner CECEP Hundred spoke about the green finance market in China and how the Green Assets Wallet fit well with their ambitions.

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The event was a pre-launch and demonstration of the Green Assets Wallet in the Chinese market. The Chinese market is important to the work of the Green Assets Wallet due to the country’s leadership in green finance. The Green Assets Wallet will be demoed again in an upcoming event on November 2nd in Beijing. The first version of the technology will be launched and go public on November 27th at Climate Finance Day in Paris.

Leading capital market actors convene at Norrsken to discuss key features of the Green Assets Wallet

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On September 27th, leading capital market actors got together to discuss key features of the Green Assets Wallet. The meeting was an opportunity for finance sector actors and stakeholders in Sweden, China and Brazil to influence and provide input to some central decision points that the GAW development team were about to make. Excellent input was received, and the very next day, this input was analyzed by Stockholm Green Digital Finance and CICERO and converted into technology specifications that were immediately fed into the tech development process led by ChromaWay.

A Big Thank You to all who contributed to an excellent workshop.

CECEP Hundred joins the Green Asset Wallet innovation project

China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP) is the largest service-oriented scientific industrial group in the energy conservation and environmental protection field in China. Also serve as the Executive Director Unit of the Green Finance Committee under the People’s Bank Of China. CECEP Hundred is its subsidiary company, and actively promotes the development of green finance. It is committed to raising awareness between investors and general public towards socially responsible investment. CECEP Hundred offers green bond certification services and is the leading external reviewer in Asia.

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We are truly excited to welcome onboard such a prominent Chinese actor in the environmental and green finance field to the project. The Green Assets Wallet will draw great benefits from the collaboration with and insights by CECEP Hundred, says Cecilia Repinski, Executive Director of Stockholm Green Digital Finance.

The Green Assets Wallet is funded and co-developed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is headed by Stockholm Green Digital Finance. CECEP Hundred joins the team with ChromaWay, CICERO, Geographic Information Bureau, Emerging Markets Dialogue on Finance (EMDF) of GIZ, Öhman, SEB, Mistra and Vasakronan.

Impact Reporting and Emerging Markets High on the GAW Agenda

On June 26, leading asset owner Mistra hosted the third "GAW Partners Meeting" where partners rounded up the Beta Phase of the tech build

The Green Assets Wallet innovation project, funded and co-developed by the Emerging Markets Dialogue on Finance of GIZ by BMZ, is finishing up the Beta Phase of the technology build. Partners convened to participate in a demonstration of the technology and to discuss final elements and next steps.

Next up is the GAW Test Phase when issuers of, investors in, and validators of, green debt will get to test the technology and provide feedback on a Workshop on September 27.

Photo: Anna Denell, Sustainability Director Vasakronan, Anna Bellander, Stockholm Green Digital Finance, Harald Lund, Head of second opinion CICERO and Gus Botsford, Chromaway defining impact reporting in the Green Assets Wallet.

Photo: Anna Denell, Sustainability Director Vasakronan, Anna Bellander, Stockholm Green Digital Finance, Harald Lund, Head of second opinion CICERO and Gus Botsford, Chromaway defining impact reporting in the Green Assets Wallet.

Going forward, a key focus is on making investment opportunities in Emerging Markets more accessible to investors. The GAW team is currently working with early issuers of green debt in Emerging Markets to demonstrate a wider range of investment products -and with greater impact!

-If we invest in solar in Sweden, we meet one SDG. If we can find a solar investment in Africa, we can meet up to 7 SDGs, reaching beyond clean energy targets to gender, equality and health, said Åke Iverfeldt, CEO Mistra.

Another key element of the GAW project is knowledge transfer. Working with best in class real estate company Vasakronan helps set the stage and lead the way for "green building impact reporting" for new issuers of green debt.

Stockholm Green Digital Finance Joins the Climate Chain Coalition

Reaching the Paris Agreement with Digital Ledger Technology

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The Climate Chain Coalition (CCC) is an open global initiative to support collaboration among members and stakeholders to advance blockchain (distributed ledger technology) and related digital solutions (e.g. IoT, big data) to help mobilize climate finance and enhance MRV (measurement, reporting and verification) to scale climate actions for mitigation and adaptation.

-There are obvious synergies between Stockholm Green Digital Finance and the objectives of the Climate Chain Coalition and we look forward to collaborate on solutions for accelerating climate finance globally, said Cecilia Repinski at the first inaugural meeting of the Coalition in Frankfurt on May 25th.

More information on the Climate Chain Coalition can be found here.

Sweden and France leads the way -from Green Bonds to Blockchain

Swedish National Radio interviewed a panel, including the Minister for Financial Markets, Per Bolund, to discuss and compare green financial innovation in Sweden and in France

Both Sweden and France have risen to the task of meeting the Paris Accord by demonstrating leadership on green finance and investment in the fight on climate change. As such, the countries have agreed on a partnership to continue leading the way as green finance pioneers for others to follow suit.

On May 29, the Swedish-French Partnership on Sustainable Finance convened at Swedish bank SEB in Stockholm to discuss and share experiences in green financial innovation.

Since world leaders finally agreed on the Paris Accord to fight climate change, France has taken a number of steps to deliver on the Accord including issuing a sovereign green bond for green projects including solar roads.

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Sweden has long led the way in green bond issuance and to scale the market further, the Swedish Government launched a Green Bond Inquiry in 2017 headed by Mats Andersson. One of the key recommendations to the Swedish Government is to issue a sovereign green bond just as France.

The Radio Program "Klotet" convened a panel during the Swedish-French conference to discuss the importance of green financial innovation, the additionality vs. leadership signal of a state green bond, other green financial innovations (such as crowdfunding) as well as blockchain based solutions for speeding up green finance. Panellists included Per Bolund, Mats Andersson, Thomas Sterner and Cecilia Repinski.

The full program can be found here: https://sverigesradio.se/vetklotet