Nefco – Nordic Environment Finance Corporation
Nefco – Nordic Environment Finance Corporation is an international financial institution that finances the initial scale-up of Nordic green solutions on global markets. Nefco serves the interests of its owners, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and works with concrete actions to accelerate the green transition.
Nefco’s guiding principles are the financing of environmentally beneficial solutions and projects and supporting the global scaling of these endeavours. Nefco is financing environmental projects on six continents. Currently, there are over 300 active projects in Nefco’s globe-spanning portfolio, including investments made from its own capital and trust fund projects. Investments are financed with loans and equity through Nefco’s paid-in capital. Trust fund projects are financed with soft loans, grants and results-based financing through contributions from various donors.
Guided by the EU Taxonomy environmental objectives, many of these activities are related to climate change mitigation and adaptation; as well as the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems. Typical investments may be related to the following sectors: circular economy; energy and energy efficiency; food, agriculture and forest; manufacturing and materials; transportation and e-mobility; water, seas and oceans.
Financing Instrument: Loans, Equity, Grants, Results-Based Finance, Technical Assistance
Nefco finances and implements small and medium-sized green investments globally, on market terms.
Loans and equity:
- Loans and equity of up to EUR 5 million to Nordic SMEs and mid-caps for the expansion and implementation of green investments on global markets. Investments within the Nordic countries can be considered if they demonstrate an environmental technology or sustainable solution with the potential for international scaling.
- Fast-track loan financing for Nordic SMEs’ internationalisation of up to EUR 500,000
- Loans blended with grants and soft loans to public sector projects in Eastern Europe
Financial support: Nordic SMEs are eligible for conditional loans for internationalisation of up to EUR 50,000. Funding is utilised for feasibility studies to assess international establishment or demonstration project/pilot installation outside the EU/EFTA area. If the project results in a foreign business establishment or investment, the entirety of the Nopef funding is converted into a grant.
Nefco provides grants and project support through trust funds and financing programmes:
- Green Recovery for Ukraine
- Baltic Sea Action Plan Fund
Recipient countries regions/ country groups:
Nefco finances projects that are realized outside the Nordic region. In addition to financing the global scale-up of Nordic green solutions, Nefco focuses on Eastern Europe, the Baltic Sea, and the Arctic and Barents regions, and has also a results-based financing programme for clean off-grid energy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Recipient categories: Businesses, Trade and Innovation councils of NEFCO's Nordic owner countries
Nefco is particularly interested in small and medium-scale projects that have the potential to grow and generate environmental impacts greater than the original investment.
Nefco’s investment criteria:
- Environmentally sustainable solutions
- Evaluation against the environmental drivers (EU Taxonomy) and Nefco’s own environmental and sustainability criteria
- Technical and financial viability
- Technology scale-up potential
- Mitigation of potential environmental and social risks
Nefco’s investment cycle:
- First enquiry: Interested Nordic SMEs contact Nefco’s investment experts and present their investment proposal.
- Investment proposal: Nefco requests a financing proposal and business plan to gain a deeper understanding of the proposed investment. Nefco’s environmental specialists give their preliminary view on environmental benefits and risks.
- The investment proposal enters Nefco’s pipeline: If screening deems the investment of interest to Nefco, it is accepted into the pipeline. Full financial analysis and risk assessment of the investment proposal is carried out. Compliance due diligence is done, as well as further work to assess environmental considerations. A Project Manager presents an investment proposal to the Nefco Investment Committee.
- Clearance in Principle: Once approved by the Nefco Investment Committee, the project is considered by the Nefco Board for Clearance in Principle. Further analysis is conducted if needed. If the project passes this stage, a Term Sheet is prepared by Nefco setting out the offered terms and conditions for financing.
- Final approval: The project proposal is submitted to the Nefco Board for final approval. Loan agreements are prepared and signed followed by disbursement of funds in one or several tranches.
- Project implementation and monitoring: If approved, investment documentation (as set out by the Term Sheet) begins. Nefco requires information that enables the monitoring of the implementation and the environmental and financial performance of the investment.
Last updated: 6 September 2023