The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) invests in UK projects which are both green and commercial, where its capital is "additional" to available private sector finance. GIB’s mandate from Government is to deploy at least 80% of its capital in the following priority sectors: offshore wind, waste recycling and energy from waste and energy efficiency.
The bank’s purpose is to help the UK Government achieve its sustainability targets in a cost effective way. GIB seeks those opportunities where its capital, knowledge and reputation make the difference that enables a project to be successfully financed. The bank partners with other lenders and investors, and seeks always to attract private sector capital into our priority sectors.
The bank was formed as a public company in May 2012 and became fully operational in October 2012 when it was granted State Aid approval by the European Commission to make investments on commercial terms.
GIB’s mission is to mobilise investment in the UK's green economy. The investment strategy is designed to maximise green impact. That investment strategy is underpinned by robust principles and policies designed to ensure that each investment's green impact is assessed, monitored and reported to the highest standard.
As the world's first dedicated Green Investment Bank, GIB is committed to ensuring that its approach is at the forefront of market practice, and seeks to catalyse a sector-wide improvement in these areas. GIB has adopted an approach based on 'learning through doing' and underpinned by a commitment to continuous improvement.
Every investment considered by GIB must pass through a rigorous green impact assessment process before it can be approved. Every approved investment is subject to robust, detailed and continuous green impact monitoring, spanning all aspects of its green performance.
GIB uses a number of IRIS metrics in its performance assessment and reporting processes as many IRIS metrics are compatible with the bank’s priority environmental performance areas. Standardized metrics allow for common environmental performance measurement and may be valuable for other institutions to use such metrics to allow comparisons / benchmarking.
Other Impact Measurement Tools
GIB is committed to ensuring that its approach is at the forefront of market practice. That means the adoption of existing relevant international good practice and active engagement on its own approach with a wide range of stakeholders.
The environmental benefit or green impact arising from a project is estimated by comparing the project’s impact against an alternative outcome (scenario) if the project in question had not taken place. This alternative outcome is referred to as the ‘baseline’. Green impact can be applied to any of greenhouse gas savings (tonnes CO2e), tonnes additional materials recycled or tonnes waste to landfill avoided, with a beneficial green impact (saving, reduction, etc.) expressed as a positive number.
GIB has adopted the Equator Principles, a framework for identifying and managing environmental and social risk and impacts. Similarly the bank has signed the United Nations backed Principles for Responsible Investment, which provide a framework for embedding environmental, social and governance concerns into investment decision making, monitoring and reporting.