COP 27 – Development Bank of Wales outlines continued commitment to greener future

Chief Executive
Growing a business
Sustainability in business

At the Development Bank of Wales, we want to bring ambitions to life and fuel possibilities for people, businesses and communities in Wales.

Our mission is to unlock the potential of the Welsh economy by increasing the provision of sustainable and effective finance in the market.

As a key player in the Welsh economy, we can have a real impact on how our country does business.

Events such as COP27 and Wales Climate Week remind us all of the importance of making the changes we can to limit our impact on the environment - and we remain committed to our vision, and that of the Welsh Government, of a greener, fairer and more sustainable Wales.

Wales’s potential is at the heart of our decision–making. We support businesses that can contribute financially, socially, ethically and environmentally to our communities and the wider world.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are built into our decision-making when it comes to investment – and we want to make sure that the impact we have on Wales’ future is more than just a financial one.

And we know that even though we’ve made good progress in the past few years, there is still more we can learn and do.

We remain on course to becoming a net zero organisation, and will continue to look for further ways we can reduce our own carbon footprint.

While we recognise our obligations, we also see this is a time of great opportunity as businesses across the country take their own steps towards greater sustainability.

Earlier this year, we announced the launch of our Green Homes Incentive, which reduces the cost of borrowing for developers as the construction sector continues its own journey towards net zero, and encouraging greater strides towards insulation and improved energy use in a new generation of Welsh homes.

More recently, we joined with the Welsh Government in bringing forward our plans for an invest-to-save decarbonisation offer, with improved terms for businesses looking to invest in renewables and improve their energy efficiency.

Businesses recognise they have a role to play, but need the capital to make the investment needed – which is where we’re able to help.

Some businesses – like Gower Electric Bikes and Avantis – have spotted new opportunities to answer the sustainability needs of their customers; whether that’s for electric-powered biking around some of Wales’ most beautiful scenery, or using intelligent tech to help companies in the marine sector to become more energy efficient.

And Pontypool-based transportation logistics providers and supply chain managers FLS – who we supported in late 2021 – recently introduced a new carbon-monitoring service for clients booking freight transport.

Last year, Angels Invest Wales – our angels investors network and the biggest angel network in Wales - joined private investors in backing Riversimple, a hydrogen car manufacturer based in Llandrindod Wells, as part of a £1.5 million funding round.

Alongside the Welsh Government Energy Service, we supported Gower Power, Wales first community-owned solar farm.

Gower Power Solar Storage aims to provide green energy to hundreds of homes and businesses in the Swansea area, while also giving them the opportunity to support grassroots community projects via the community benefit society Gower Regeneration Ltd, which owns the solar farm.

The 1MW solar farm at Killan Fach Farm, Dunvant, began generating power in 2017 and became the first community-owned solar farm in Wales thanks to the backing of local investors.

Backed by the Development Bank, the Welsh Government Energy Services and ERDF, Gower Power Solar Storage is expected to generate clean, renewable energy for 25 years, and provide a surplus to the local community.

We’ve also helped long-running businesses looking to make their existing operations more energy-efficient or environmentally friendly.

Bargoed Farm – a Ceredigion caravan, camping and glamping park – have invested in a range of greening measures, including a baling machine for recyclable materials, solar panels and electric car charging points.

Giles Thorley, Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Wales, said: “We have an excellent track record in investing in Welsh businesses as they take bigger and longer steps towards our greener future.

“We have debt and equity investment options available for those creating innovative products and services which will help lower emissions – and Wales is lucky to be home to a number of tech entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses putting us on the map.

“And we work alongside partners at the Welsh Government and Business Wales to help customers reduce their environmental impact, linking them to specialist sustainability advisers providing support on grants, renewable energy, environmental sustainability and the Green Growth Pledge.”