The Green for Growth Fund (GGF) held its first Sustainable Future Forum in Frankfurt, Germany on June 27. The event gathered more than 250 participants to showcase leading initiatives in green finance for energy and resource efficiency throughout the Fund’s regions of operations, as well as the most inspiring global initiatives. The grand finale of the clim@ pitching competition was also hosted by the Forum to announce winners and award them with EUR 30,000 to support the further marketing and development of their innovations.
The Sustainable Future Forum was organized for the first time by the Green for Growth Fund, a financing platform advised by Finance in Motion GmbH. Since its establishment back in 2009 by German development bank KfW and the European Investment Bank, with the strong support of the European Commission and the German government, the GGF has always been at the forefront of promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and resource efficiency in areas such as water, waste and material inputs by providing funding through either direct investments or through financial institutions. This Forum highlighted major initiatives of the GGF and its partners, and called for sustainable and innovative solutions.
Christopher Knowles, at the time Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Green for Growth Fund, and Heike Backofen-Warnecke, Deputy Head of Division South-East Europe, Southern Caucasus at the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), welcomed more than 250 international investors, financial institutions’ representatives and climate action leaders, expressing strong support of both the German government and the Fund to efforts aimed at building a sustainable and smart future.
Christopher Knowles, former Chairman of the Board of Directors, GGF
“Today, champions of the green transformation have come together to offer in-depth insights from a broad range of different perspectives. This committed group shares the common goal of accelerating a transformation into a green and sustainable future. The event fosters a spirit of cooperation, local partnerships and the sharing of knowledge.”
Climate change affects and disrupts business and it will only continue to increase its visibility and importance over time, leaders from Futerra, Danfoss, ASN Bank and Klimate-KIC agreed and presented what drove them and their organizations to focus on the transformational opportunities.
The Sustainable Future Forum had a strong focus on private sector-driven sustainable growth, promoting innovative ideas and new leading-edge approaches to green financing, exploring the core aspects of a greener economy, new business models and novel awareness raising concepts that support the transformational process.
Carrie Waltzak, Director, Head of Project Finance
“GGF successfully hosted the innovative clim@ competition and Sustainable Future Forum this week. The events showcased the role the Fund plays in facilitating sustainable investment in its target region, including in the Western Balkans. They also provided a platform for leaders in climate innovation to come together, exchange ideas, and be inspired.”
Olaf Zymelka, at the time Member of the Board of Directors of the GGF, coming from KfW where he has held several managerial positions since 2001, and Elvira Lefting, Managing Director of Finance in Motion, made closing remarks at the Forum, at the same time announcing the Fund’s news: Olaf Zymelka is to succeed Christopher Knowles in the position of Chairman of the Board of the GGF. Also, in the coming days the GGF is to launch its GreenTechHub to push green tech solutions through direct work with companies, networking and peer learning. The changes to take place in the coming days are to bring the Fund to the next level of promoting sustainable and innovative development.
Olaf Zymelka, Chairman of the Board of Directors, GGF
“The Sustainable Future Forum was a superb event to discuss innovation and new perspectives on energy efficiency, renewable energy and resource efficiency with around 250 people. I am very happy that we brought so many people together to discuss these topics. It was a very good cross-over between innovative and scientific thinking and hands-on projects of our partners in GGF‘s target regions – Balkan, Eastern Europe and MENA-Region. A highlight was definitely the clim@ competition where start-ups presented their ideas on EE, RE and resource efficiency products.
Winners of clim@ competition announced
The GGF’s clim@ competition announced three winners in 2018 at the Sustainable Future Forum following a five-month-long selection process, 260 applications submitted from 80 countries worldwide and a pitching event for 15 finalists organized on June 25 in Frankfurt.
Diana Wesselius, Member of the Board of Directors of GGF and a member of the final judging panel:
“All five finalists presented cutting-edge ideas and strong business models to tackle climate challenges and drive the green transformation, with remarkable entrepreneurial spirit. In the end, Inspidere convinced us most in all three categories of impact, innovation and business case.”
In the presence of the panel of expert judges and over 250 participants, Inspidere from the Netherlands was awarded first place and EUR 15,000 to grow their business that uses an innovative method and technology to transform cow manure into biomaterials for producing clothes and other products. Bulgarian startup Biomyc was awarded EUR 10,000 for their novel approach in developing sustainable packaging solutions out of agricultural waste and mushroom mycelium, and Nüwiel from Gemrnay received EUR 5,000 for their solution to urban freight mobility issues through their electric bike trailer. In addition, Ukrainian startup effa and Spanish startup TRC were recognized as honorable mentions for their initiatives in developing a sustainable paper-based disposable toothbrush to reduce plastic waste and the recovery of fiber reinforced composites offering a recycling and waste management solution.
By creating biomaterials that can be used as an alternative resource in the clothing industry, Inspidere’s business model provides a circular economy solution to the challenge of manure disposal, while providing farmers with a new revenue stream from this waste.
Jalila Essaidi, Director of Inspidere:
“I am very honored and thankful to be part of this big movement organized by the Green for Growth Fund and Finance in Motion. Through the clim@ award we’ll get one step closer to implementing a fashionable way to protect the planet.”