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Major European banks launch new green mortgage scheme

14 June 2018 – Windsor, UK, Today, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Europe network and 37 major European banks launched a new energy efficiency mortgage pilot scheme. It marks a major signal from investors that green building is a key growth market for Europe.

The pilot scheme is aimed at trialing new European criteria for energy efficiency mortgages, developed by Green Building Councils in WorldGBC’s Europe network and their partners under the EU funded Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative. Some of Europe’s largest banks are participating in the pilot, including BNP Paribas, ING Bank, Nordea Bank and Société Générale.

Lower utility costs and their ability to hold their value better over time mean green homes are increasingly recognised as less risky investments for both borrowers and lenders. Additionally, there is rapidly growing investor demand for green mortgage-backed bonds, helping make the business case for lenders to provide more attractive mortgages to those opting for greener homes.

The pilot scheme will see participating banks explore lower interest rates for mortgages meeting the scheme’s criteria, as well as other forms of preferential finance. The participation of nearly 40 major banks in the scheme is proof that big investors are increasingly recognising energy efficient homes as better investments.

Terri Wills, CEO, WorldGBC said:

“The commitment by Europe’s leading banks to this pilot shows green building is hitting the mainstream. WorldGBC’s Europe network has developed energy performance criteria for new builds and renovations to help set a consistent market standard for banks issuing green mortgage productsWe look forward to developing the standards over time to support the investor community in addressing climate risks.”

The group of banks participating in the pilot will be investigating how the scheme’s criteria can be applied across their mortgage businesses over the coming 1-2 years. The initiative hopes to establish a new generation of mortgage products that help consumers drive energy use reductions across the property sector.

Stephanie Sfakianos, Head of Sustainable Capital Markets at BNP Paribas, said:

“The launch of the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative will positively contribute to people’s lives and is one of the ways BNP Paribas is working with like-minded organisations to deliver quality solutions into consumers’ homes. BNP Paribas is committed to being at the forefront of delivering sustainable solutions and we believe the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative is a key building block in tackling the carbon emission challenge, while supporting consumers to live more comfortable and healthy lives.”

Michael Lewis, CEO, E.ON UK, said:

“Green mortgages have the potential to unlock an energy efficiency revolution by enabling homeowners to access affordable finance through which to improve their homes. We are proud to be involved as a leading partner in the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative and believe that the pilot phase launched today offers a great opportunity for banks, utilities and energy efficiency experts to work together to turn a great vision into reality.”

Green Building Councils across Europe led a market consultation earlier this year with over 500 experts to develop the pilot building assessment criteria, to ensure that these can be applied appropriately to buildings at a local level. Green Building Councils in a number of countries are now starting to set up green mortgage ‘hubs’ to support investors and local energy and construction business partners looking to explore or pilot energy efficiency mortgage programmes. Contact your local GBC for further information.

Notes to Editors

The Energy Efficient Mortgages Action Plan (EeMAP) Initiative – led by the European Mortgage Federation-European Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC), Ca’Foscari University of Venice, RICS, the Europe Regional Network of the World Green Building Council, E.ON and SAFE Goethe University Frankfurt– aims to create an energy efficient mortgage through which homebuyers are incentivised to improve the energy efficiency of their building or acquire an already energy efficient property by way of favourable conditions linked to the mortgage.

The cornerstone of the initiative is the assumption that energy efficiency has a risk mitigation effect for banks as a result of the impact on a borrower’s ability to service his/her loan and on the value of the property, a correlation which the EeMAP Initiative will seek to substantiate.

Green Building Councils across Europe have established a set of European performance thresholds for banks looking to issue energy efficiency mortgage products, which are:

  • For new builds: That these meet national ‘nearly zero energy building’ standards, as required by EU climate regulations; OR that they are 20% better than national standards if nearly zero energy standards are not already in place.
  • For renovations: That a 30% reduction in energy demand is achieved, with a new ‘Energy Performance Certificate’ issued after the renovation works as proof of this.

Read the full criteria here, and for more information about the project, visit the website.


Banks participating in the pilot include:

  1. ABN AMRO (NL)
  2. Argenta Bank (BE)
  3. AXA Bank (BE)
  4. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena,BMPS (IT)
  5. 5.Banco BPM (IT)
  6. Belfius Bank & Verzekeringen (BE)
  7. Berlin Hyp AG (DE)
  8. BNP Paribas Fortis (BE)
  9. BNP Paribas (UK)
  10. Groupe BPCE (FR)
  11. BPER Banca (IT)
  12. Caisse des Dépôts Group (FR)
  13. Caixa Geral de Depósitos,CGD (PT)
  14. Caja Rural de Navarra (ES)
  15. Compagnie de Financement Foncier (FR)
  16. Crédit Agricole (IT)
  17. Crelan (BE)
  18. Friulovest Banca (IT)
  19. Garanti Bank (RO)
  20.  ING Bank (BE)
  21.  KBC Bank (BE)
  22. Mortgage Society of Finland,Hypo (FI)
  23. Münchener Hypothekenbank eG (DE)
  24. Norddeutsche Landesbank,NORD/LB (DE)
  25. Nordea Bank (SE)
  26. Nordea Eiendomskreditt (NO)
  27. Nordea Kredit (DK)
  28. Nordea Mortgage Bank (FI)
  29. OP Mortgage Bank (FI)
  30. Rabobank (NL)
  31. Raiffeisen Bank (RO)
  32. Société Générale (FR)
  33. Société Générale (IT)
  34. Triodos Bank (BE)
  35. Triodos Bank (ES)
  36. Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios,UCI (ES)
  37. Volksbank Alto Adige (IT)

Other organisations supporting the pilot include:

  • Am Trust International
  • Romanian Association of Banks, ARB (RO)
  • Cohispania (ES)
  • S&P Global Ratings
  • European Builders Confederation
  • UK Regulated Covered Bond Council, UK
  • Finance Denmark, FIDA (DK)
  • RCBC (UK)
  • Flemish Construction Confederation, VCB (BE)
  • Union Professionnelle du Crédit/Febelfin (BE)
  • Madrid City Council (ES)
  • Verband deutscher Pfandbriefbanken, vdp (DE)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 746205. Disclaimer: The sole responsibility for the content of this material lies with the authors. It does not necessarily represent the views of the European Union, and neither EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use of this material.

For more information, contact Georgina Eldridge, Marketing & Communications, World Green Building Council