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First Abu Dhabi Bank Invested AED25.7 Million On Sustainable Projects In 2022

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Shargiil Bashir (FAB Chief Sustainability Officer) stated that First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has facilitated more than AED25.7 billion in sustainable projects in the year 2022. He also noted that the bank has made significant advances by financing numerous projects in the energy, food, and waste sectors.

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Bashir stated that the bank’s facilities for sustainable projects exceeded AED128.5 million between 2017-2021. This highlights FAB’s goal of providing AED275.4 billion in green financing during the 2022-2030 period.

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He stated that FAB had set the goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, in keeping with its commitment to climate causes.

Bashir said that the FAB worked with Etihad Airways recently as an ESG structuring bank to facilitate the first global sustainability-linked loan in the aviation sector.

He noted that “we have created positive sustainable impacts from many other projects we have financed”, including 3 solar projects, where 1,989,000 tonnes of CO2 is being avoided each year; 7 green building projects we financed have 2 pearl design ratings; and a wastewater treatment plant that treats 430,000 m3 per day.

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Bashir highlighted the bank’s contribution to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The bank is the UAE’s largest bank and is one of the most prominent institutional entities in Abu Dhabi. He also noted that the bank is one of the pioneers in sustainability in the banking industry as it was the first UAE bank to commit to net zero by 2050, and the first GCC bank member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA).

He explained that FAB delegates took part in several high-profile panels during the week to explore major themes in sustainable solutions. The bank is considered a catalyst for the UAE’s climate goals due to its deep engagement with the UAE across many industries.

FAB’s Chief Sustainability Officer stressed that the bank had worked hard over the years to strengthen its position in the region as a leader in sustainable financing. This culminated in 2017’s first green bond issuance in the MENA Region.

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He said, “FAB has made significant progress in green bond issuance.” We executed approximately half of our bond issuances in a green format this year, which included three benchmark transactions: EUR500 m five-year, which was the first ever green issuance in euros from the MENA region; CHF 200 million four-year where FAB is the only issuer in MENA with outstanding green CHF and US$700 m five years, which was the largest green issuance by a MENA bank.

Bashir stated that First Abu Dhabi Bank will adhere to the UN-convened Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), by focusing on science and decarbonization. “When we joined NZBA, we committed to aligning both our investment and lending portfolios with net zero emissions by 2050.”

FAB’s Chief Sustainability Officer stated that UAE is the ideal location for the COP28 Climate Summit 2023. This is due to the UAE’s strong relationships between East and West and its reputation as a global convener of last resort for urgent international dialogs.

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Shargiil Bashir stated that the UAE’s solar power initiatives have set new standards for affordability, and Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week as well as the World Future Energy Summit drive international discussions on urgent climate issues.

He concluded that the UAE was the first country in the region committed to a net zero pathway. The UAE is currently developing a comprehensive roadmap to help its government and businesses transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

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