Zvilo, the forward-financing and banking fintech, announces a set of ambitious environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets and strict reporting measures based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — a commitment part of its mission to become the first sustainable digital financial service provider in the Balkans and beyond.
Zvilo will directly contribute to nine (9) of the seventeen (17) SDGs*, as follows:
- SDG 1: No Poverty. Zvilo seeks to provide accessible digital financial solutions enabling economic opportunities for low-income households and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Targets include disbursing over €1 billion in loans, financing approx. 25 million invoices through its supply chain finance program and reducing the number of unbanked people in the Balkans by a minimum of 100,000.
- SDG 2: Zero Hunger. Zvilo will focus on supporting agricultural SMEs, ensuring that at least 20% of funding will be towards sustainable agriculture to increase resource efficiency through developing and upgrading the agro-business value chain.
- SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being. Zvilo will support food security and safety by ensuring that at least 20% of funding goes towards ISO-certified SMEs.
- SDG 5: Gender Equality. Zvilo will promote gender equality with a specific goal to support at least 20% of female-owned and managed enterprises.
- SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. Zvilo will seek to tackle climate change by supporting businesses that seek to adopt or are users of renewable energy and climate-smart technologies, providing at least 50% of funding towards these businesses.
- SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. Zvilo will support the creation of over 70,000 jobs, increasing productivity and encouraging inclusive employment — successfully creating decent jobs in industry and industry-related services.
- SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. Zvilo will contribute to the innovation of payment and financial systems and promote sustainable industrialisation, resulting in over 10,000 SMEs and 1 million individuals using digital wallets.
- SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. Zvilo will provide at least 20% of funding to support businesses in implementing more sustainable production methods, packaging, and waste management.
- SDG 13: Climate Action. Zvilo will enable SMEs and individual users to track and offset their carbon footprint. As a company, Zvilo aims to be carbon neutral by 2026.
Admir Imami, Chairman of Zvilo, stated: “We are very proud to announce a set of stringent ESG standards to which Zvilo will operate. As a global citizen, ESG and responsible investing has been central to my business activity in the last two decades of my professional work. At Zvilo, as responsible lenders, we have a unique and influential position in the Balkan region. This means we must act responsibly by encouraging positive behaviour that helps achieve a fairer, more sustainable, and more equitable world and by supplying smaller businesses and consumers with the funds needed to enact these policies when cash flow is limited.”
The ESG commitments will have many positive impacts at a local level within the community and a broader level within the region. Some of these include:
- Reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions for core business processes, properties, and infrastructure.
- Inspiring a movement throughout the regional markets to embed ESG into its strategy and encourage companies to increase transparency and disclosure of their climate impact and move towards more sustainable business practices.
- Supporting the energy transition towards renewable energy generation.
- Promoting the 2X Challenge by empowering women throughout the value chain.
- Promoting diversity and inclusion within the working environment.
“The responsibilities and aims we have, and our determination to meet them, do not end when we turn off our office lights or even help a business or consumers meet their green targets. We must ensure a continuous lifecycle of positive behaviour — through consistent and strict reporting to keep Zvilo, our clients and our customers educated and true to their responsibilities”, stated Njomza Qerimi, ESG Lead at Zvilo.
As a responsible lender, Zvilo promises to monitor and report ESG adherence accurately through tailored annual questionnaires. With Zvilo’s supply chain finance platform and the forthcoming web and mobile app, ESG data is automatically captured for reporting and portfolio management and enhanced using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Admir Imami concluded: “Businesses and consumers have a responsibility to make the world a better place. Although potentially once controversial in the business world, today, it is a fact: that businesses cannot and do not operate in a vacuum. This is true both ethically and as a matter of good business stewardship — as failing to live up to ESG standards can significantly impact brand standards and a business’s bottom line”.
“We aim to inspire other businesses to follow suit and give businesses access to the funding they need to make meaningful, structural changes to improve their adherence to environmental, social, and governmental norms”.
*Targets are projections and subject to change.