Impact project/investment of the year - Real estate: EIB and UCI

Channels: IMPACT

Companies: European Investment Bank, Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios

People: Emma Navarro

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios (UCI) have launched a joint initiative to finance the construction of "nearly zero energy" multi-apartment buildings and the refurbishment of existing residential properties in Iberia.

It is estimated that the project will see around 25,000m² of new buildings constructed and 450,000m² of properties refurbished in Spain and Portugal.

The project is expected to create 1,230 jobs during implementation and contribute to energy savings of around 44GWh per year.

UCI is authorised by the Bank of Spain to offer mortgage financial services.

Green financing will be made available by UCI via the provision of energy efficiency mortgages and consumer loans to the market.

EIB has participated in the senior tranche of a residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) for a total amount of approximately €100 million ($118 million).

The securitised portfolio has been originated by UCI and is made up of existing Portuguese mortgage loans.

This is the first project supported by the EIB that involves the creation of a portfolio of new energy efficiency loans that fulfil the requirements set by both the EU bank and the  Energy Efficiency Mortgage Action Plan (EeMAP), an initiative run by the European Mortgage Federation and encouraged by the European Commission (EC).

Emma NavarroEmma Navarro, EIB Vice-President responsible for the Bank's activity in Spain and Portugal and for its climate action, said: "The building sector is the largest single energy consumer in Europe and it is estimated that three-quarters of today's buildings will still stand in 2050. Therefore, the refurbishment of existing buildings to improve their energy performance as well as the construction of nearly zero-energy properties is key to move towards a low-carbon economy and society.

"We are very pleased to receive this award and to support Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios in this innovative operation that promotes energy efficiency investments in the Iberian Peninsula and highlights EIB's strong commitment to financing green projects. Europe's recovery must be climate and environmentally focused to meet the goal of zero net emissions by 2050.

"Despite the challenging circumstances we all face and the focus of our efforts in combating Covid-19, we will not lose sight of the EIB's long-term objective of underpinning Europe's transition to a low-carbon economy and society."

UCI will offer four different product lines: Green personal loans for the refurbishment of condominiums; Green personal loans for the refurbishment of individual properties; Green mortgage loans for newly built properties (energy classes A or B); and Green mortgage loans for existing properties (purchase and refurbishment).