Eco-business / Social Venture

August 24, 2007


Shiga Bank Launches Loan Product Linked to CO2 Reduction, Fish Protection

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Ecosystems / Biodiversity Local government Non-manufacturing industry 

A regional bank in Japan launched a new loan product dubbed the "Carbon Neutral Loan" on April 19, 2007, with a special twist: borrowing money will help to protect the environment of Lake Biwa. Under the program, when a customer installs a photovoltaic generation system using one of the bank's green financing plans, the bank donates funds to stock Lake Biwa with Carassius auratus grandoculis, the lake's indigenous crucian carp. The amount donated will be calculated based on the amount of CO2 emissions reduced by using photovoltaic power generation.

The green financing plans include the Eco-Clean Fund (for business) and the Ecological/Seismic Upgrade Housing Loan (personal). When a customer uses either of these funds to install a photovoltaic system, the bank offers a preferred interest rate (0.1 percent below the special rate for green financing, which is already 0.2 to 1.2 percent below regular loans).

The bank will donate an amount equivalent to the value of the CO2 reduction. The funds will go to the Shiga Prefectural Fishery Experimental Station, which is operating breeding projects of the crucian and Gnathopogon caerulescens, another indigenous fish. The value is calculated based on market prices from the European Union emissions trading system. Donations are expected to amount to 1.2 million yen (about US$9,760) in fiscal 2007.

This crucian is an important fishing resource in Lake Biwa. Sushi made with the crucian is a traditional specialty in the prefecture, but a rapid decline in its population since 1985 has made it more difficult for shops to offer the sushi in recent years.

Posted: 2007/08/24 10:56:14 AM
Japanese version