Stockholm (NordSIP) – Kommuninvest announced the launch of a new product to promote municipal investments in a socially sustainable society. The Swedish local government funding agency will unveil a pilot programme of the Social Sustainability Loans this autumn aimed at a limited number of customers. A new Committee on Social Sustainability will assess loan applications.
Kommuninvest’s Social Sustainability Loans
The first loans will be granted in October based on relevant documentation, including the Social Bonds Framework and application forms for Social Sustainability Loans, which have been developed in collaboration between Kommuninvest, Danske Bank and SEB. Loans will be distributed to investments in housing and housing environment, safety, security and accessibility, as well as health, sports, education and culture.
To qualify, investments, directly or indirectly through broader social initiatives, must contribute to achieving clearly defined social objectives, among other conditions. If the pilot phase of the project succeeds, Kommuninvest aims to extend Social Sustainability Loans to all its members, which will include the vast majority of all Swedish municipalities and regions, from early 2021. Should the process succeed, the Swedish agency hopes to be able to start issuing Social bonds to its investors.
“We have had an active dialogue with municipalities and regions throughout this development process,” says Björn Bergstrand, Head of Sustainability at Kommuninvest. “We now expect some particularly committed pilot customers to take the lead in the coming months. There is great interest in using this new financing tool to promote new working methods and reach gradually improved results in the work on social sustainability.”
The Committee on Social Sustainability
Kommuninvest’s newly-formed Committee on Social Sustainability made up of eight experts in the social field, research and innovation and operational development work will be responsible for examining loan applications. The committee counts with two researchers – Lars Hultkrantz, Professor Emeritus, Örebro University School of Business and Tomas Bokström, Project Manager, leader of the Social & Health Impact Center, RISE. However, most of the membership of the committee comes from Kommuninvest’s members. Örebro Municipality will be represented by Aina Rundgren, Process Manager, and leader of the Project Office. The Committee will also count with Ingemar Ångman, Head of Social Welfare at Region Örebro, Johan Sjöholm, Development Manager, Public Health, Kungälv Municipality and Rebecka Thilén, Public Health Strategist, Skövde Municipality. Anton Berg, Development Manager, Social Sustainability, Uppsala Municipality and Shirin Bartholdsson, Regional Developer, social investment funds, Region Västra Götaland complete the membership of the committee.
“I find it very positive that the committee has now been established. I look forward to taking part in its work,” says Hultkrantz. “This type of social scheme, where physical investments are linked to social initiatives with distinct objectives, has the potential to provide exactly the sort of long-term impacts that are required to make social progress. It can contribute to building a more impact-oriented culture in municipalities, regions and the important welfare sector as a whole,” Hultkrantz adds.