Complying with ESG criteria in the Finnish energy sector
Käkelä, Heidi (2020)
All rights reserved. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
In this thesis, the prerequisites for and processes involved in qualifying for green corporate loans were explored from the perspective of companies in the Finnish energy sector. Green corporate loans are a form of ESG (environmental, social and governance) finance, which seeks to further sustainability goals through eligibility assessments and performance metrics. The two-fold aim of this work was to explore understandings of ESG in financing energy sector projects and to prepare for a more substantial study for a Handbook of ESG Criteria in the Finnish Energy Sector. The research was conducted through a limited case study of a green loan granted to a hydroelectric power company, aimed at refurbishing and refinancing existing hydroelectric plants in Lapland. A review of the relevant literature was made to guide the selection of topics for two interviews, which were conducted with the representatives of the company and of the bank acting as the lender. The material from the interviews, and publicly available material on environmental corporate responsibility and green loan criteria was then analyzed with the qualitative method of content analysis. It was discovered here that the present forms of communication between private financial institutions and energy sector companies do not correspond in an efficient manner. Results from the content analysis were found to show marked differences in how environmental friendliness was communicated and conceived of between the two parties. This results in a one-sided and financier-focused access to green finance that may be improved through better communication. By virtue of these results, future research for the Handbook of ESG Criteria in the Finnish Energy Sector can be focused on relevant issues inherent in the process.