South Pole is a leading provider of global sustainability financing solutions and services, with over 300 experts in 18 global offices. For over a decade, South Pole has worked with a wide range of public, private and civil sector organizations to accelerate the transition to a climate-smart society. The company’s expertise covers climate finance and policy, data and advisory on sustainability risks and opportunities, as well as the development of environmental commodities such as carbon, renewable energy credits and energy efficiency certificates. Since 2006, South Pole has mobilized climate finance for over 700 projects in emission reduction, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable land-use, screened the climate footprint of over USD 2 trillion of investments and saved over 170 million tons of CO2.
We believe in the value of partnerships and multi-stakeholder collaboration to implement the necessary change at the required speed. We work with key stakeholders across many sectors, including: governments (national, sub-national, cities), to assist the setting of enabling conditions for achieving SDGs and NDCs; development banks and cooperation agencies, to provide technical advisory and support development targets; private companies, to understand their risks and opportunities in their low-carbon transition; the investment community and capital markets, providing access to data allowing investments to be better aligned with a low-carbon economy; non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private philanthropies, to cooperate on setting goals and standards; and universities and academia, to connect new research with action on the ground.
Reflecting its leading position in the marketplace, South Pole has won numerous awards, including Environmental Finance’s Best Project Developer award which it has received for 10 years in a row.
South Pole office locations: Global reach – local impact
Celebrating 14 years of global sustainability solutions, South Pole has together with its clients achieved the following results:
- positively affected 20 million people around the globe (around the total population of Sri Lanka)
- saved over 170 million tonnes of CO 2
- developed over 700 projects in renewables, forestry, agriculture, industry, households and public institutions
- screened the climate footprint of over USD 2 trillion of investments
- mobilised over USD 15 billion clean energy investments
- enabled the production of more than 140,000 GWh of renewable energy
- protected or restored over 55,000 km 2 of land
- helped create nearly 100,000 jobs in developing countries
Relevant areas of expertise
Climate Finance Advisory
South Pole has long-standing expertise conducting market assessments on climate finance, blending public and private financial streams and designing innovative schemes and instruments that help de-risk and incentivise climate investments across various economic sectors – from clean energy, waste and transport to sustainable land use and water management. Every day, our dedicated team works with public sector clients, international development agencies, multilateral development banks (MDBs), and national and local governments to provide climate finance advisory services. Our international experts also have a long-standing track record in advising, designing and implementing green finance schemes. South Pole often acts as a consultancy resource for clients on broader sustainable finance topics around investment risks and climate change. This might include workshops and capacity building, identifying climate-friendly investment vehicles, working with external asset managers, formulating investment roadmaps, benchmarking, bespoke research, environmental impacts of investment products, scenario analyses, risk assessments, green bond avoided emission quantifications and other sustainability-related consulting services. South Pole staff have also contributed to major IPCC, G20 and UNEP climate finance reports, the world-leading Global Landscape of Climate Finance reports, and have co-managed the development and initial implementation of the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance as well as the City Finance Lab.
Energy Access and Renewable Energy
South Pole has a proven track record working in the energy access and renewable energy space. In 2020, South Pole produced the second edition of the Missing the Mark report for SEforALL. The report assesses the discrepancy between energy finance commitments and disbursements in 20 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and provides recommendations for reducing this energy access finance gap. This research required the analysis and data management of close to 45,000 transactions as well as an extensive stakeholder engagement effort with dozens of energy access professionals. South Pole is also pioneering the development of a dedicated results-based finance mechanism for small-scale distributed RE installations which allows the distributed RE sector to benefit from impact finance in a cost efficient and largely digitised and automated way. The instrument for Distributed Renewable Energy Certification (D-REC) connects the financial potential of the voluntary environmental markets with energy access challenges of the global south, by de-risking energy access projects, making them more attractive to impact and commercial investors and thus lowering the cost of capital for the sector. South Pole also advised the Swiss REPIC platform with strategic and policy recommendations to increase the mobilisation of private investment into renewable energy, demand-side energy efficiency and resource efficiency and identified potential synergies with existing national and international financial instruments. By the end of 2018, REPIC had supported up to 153 projects with a total project volume of CHF 46.5 million.
Result-based Finance: carbon finance and renewable energy solutions
South Pole develops and sells carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates to promote climate action and sustainable development around the world. Both carbon credits and renewable energy certificates are typical uses as result-based finance schemes: payments occur once projects have been implemented, sustainable energy has been produced and the environmental impact has been monitored and verified. South Pole has the largest international portfolio of offsets and certificates projects of any provider in the market today. This portfolio and our presence in 15 countries across six continents enable us to offer tailored solutions and unique projects in the places that matter most to our clients while meeting their goals on cost and impact. For over 14 years through 700+ projects realised in more than 35 countries, the offsets and certificates we offer have played a critical role in financing projects that address climate change, protect freshwater resources, preserve biodiversity, and reduce poverty. Private corporations, governments, development banks and international financial institutions employ South Pole to offset environmental impacts they cannot reduce and to provide solutions for sourcing renewable energy. They do this to demonstrate to their citizens, customers and employees that they are part of the solution to the climate challenge. Emissions reduction projects include those in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, climate-smart buildings and transport, land use, water purification and forestry.