OeEB

Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank - OeEB

Trending challenges climate & gender: from conflicting to complementary!

How might we operationalize the two seemingly conflicting, cross-cutting strategic focus topics “climate” and “gender” in order to meet gender targets in the Renewable Energy Sector by 2030?

OeEB has set itself the goal to increase gender relevance of its projects across its entire portfolio,  whilst also maintaining the focus on the renewable energy sector, as Austria’s biggest contributor to  climate finance. However, projects in the renewable energy sector do not have an explicit gender  focus and therefore do not contribute to OeEBs share of gender relevant investments. There are  various reasons for it: renewable energy projects typically are not labour intensive (once operational),  located in remote areas and data gathering is focused on climate indicators rather than gender related  metrics. Additionally, it is challenging to grasp the disaggregated demographics of beneficiaries to  design appropriate action or technical assistance programmes.  

Therefore, OeEB strives to find innovative solutions on how to best address both strategic focus topics  at the same time.

OeEB has set itself ambitious strategic goals in the cross-cutting topics climate and gender. We have  developed action plans and defined roadmaps on how to reach these strategic goals. The gender  action plan consists of action points that need to be taken to strengthen internal and external  resources and capabilities to integrate gender awareness and meet gender targets more consistently.  The climate roadmap was designed to further increase OeEBs impact through climate finance. These  action agendas have provided us with initial insights on how to further progress on both cross-cutting  topics, while raising internal awareness for their potential impact, but are currently not  interconnected.  

We already know that our RE clients struggle to attract female talent for their workforce. Further, we  find it challenging to identify means to mobilise female community members as agents of change.

The potential consequences of not finding a solution is maintaining the status-quo and thereby missing  valuable opportunities, as well as neglecting the potential for increased impact of a relevant part of  our current investment portfolio. Moreover, we consider overlooked risks – blind spots – due to lack  of gender awareness as potentially creating a problem for the future.

We would define a successful collaboration as gathering out-of-the-box ideas and insights from the  start-up community on: what to take into consideration and what instruments, products, approaches  there are to sustainably increase the participation of women in the renewable energy sector. We do  not want to limit this to the workforce only, but also take into consideration and possibility of  beneficiaries turning into agents within their communities. There are several metrics that can be used  further down the road to measure success, like: amount of female employees/ share of female  employees in the workforce, share of female beneficiaries resulting directly from the project (might  be employee, community or else) and increased equal opportunity perception throughout the project  phases/environment/surroundings. 

In terms of Output:

We would like to step outside of our development finance institution bubble and listen to what other  actors and fresh minds have to say concerning our challenge. We are mainly interested in a productive  brainstorming, that leads to inspirational ideas and mutual learning. In the best-case scenario, we can  narrow down ideas, that we are able to pilot within the bank and selected clients.

In terms of Outcome:

Our goal is to reach gender equality in the workforce and in the community participation in newly  financed RE investment projects. This may serve as an example for other financial institutions as well. 

We are open to any solution format that enables us to achieve our desired outcome.

If the Impacthon leads to a promising idea for a pilot project/process, the start-up could be a potential  implementation partner or collaborator. A pilot would be ideally tested with one of our existing clients.  Furthermore, we are happy to share insights in the development finance industry. 

Internal stakeholders:

  • OeEB Employees – all departments  
  • OeEB Owner – OeKB  
  • Government / Ministry of Finance – as a state-mandated bank  

External Stakeholders

  • European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) Community  
  • RE clients 
  • NGOs 
  • Society 
  • Beneficiaries

OeEB

OeEB was founded in March 2008 as the development bank of the Republic of Austria. With a public mandate they work for better living conditions in developing countries.