Funding Options has launched a green finance marketplace to connect lenders with businesses that have strong environmental credentials.
The business finance aggregator defines green businesses as those that provide verifiably sustainable products, services or work on a green project and include those participating in renewable, low/zero carbon or sustainable activities.
The marketplace will also allow businesses to facilitate the purchase of ‘green assets’ such as solar panels or clean vehicles and connect green businesses with the right funding partner.
Funding Options has added lenders Swishfund and Cambridge & Counties Bank to its green lender panel.
The business finance platform said its partners have been certified in accordance with its green lender criteria. This includes having a specific green finance proposition or a clear ethical commitment to the environment.
Funding Options said that environmental, social, and governance compliance is already a key component in asset and fund management decisions and will have a knock-on impact on the credit lines offered to alternative lenders.
“Funding Options sits at the heart of the SME lending ecosystem, giving us the power to ensure ‘green demand’ is met with ‘green supply’ through our data-driven Funding Cloud TM platform,” said Simon Cureton, chief executive of Funding Options.
“Data analytics and open banking APIs help to ensure that green borrowers are matched with the appropriate lenders, incentivising SMEs to focus on their environmental footprint.
“We are in agreement with the UK government that SMEs are the economic backbone of the UK and so providing access to the best funding options will greatly assist them to implement more sustainable processes, business models and consumption patterns, paving the way for a green future.
“As the green finance market for SMEs matures, there will be greater opportunities to support a wider range of businesses by offering lower product pricing to ‘green’ SMEs in order to encourage them to become more sustainable.
“Our own wider sustainability policy and commitment is to play a leading role helping to drive environmental and social governance in the alternative lending market, while at the same time promoting a broader choice of competitive green finance options for our customers.”
“We are delighted to be part of the new green marketplace,” said Andrew Jackson, managing director at Swishfund.
“This is an important step in increasing awareness of environmental issues within the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) community.
“Since people usually pay attention to only what is directly in front of them, it is incumbent on all businesses to keep green initiatives at a prominent place in their shopfronts, their offerings, and in their brands.
“Swishfund believes that commercial success and environmental responsibility can be happy bedfellows. We believe that within 20 years from now environmental and social responsibility will be a prerequisite for commercial success, and Funding Options will have been at the forefront of that trend.”