Sunref: An AFD Group Green Finance Label

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Sunref, un label finance verte de l’AFD
Sunref, an AFD Group green finance label, helps economic actors in developing and emerging countries seize the opportunities offered by energy and environmental transitions and encourages local financial institutions to finance them. Loans, investment grants and technical assistance: Sunref is a customized product that finances companies’ ecological transition projects.
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Environmental integration holds great potential for economic development. Green growth gives companies access to new markets, particularly in the fields of energy management, sustainable natural resources management and environmental protection.

Financing this green growth in developing countries poses a major challenge. To address it, AFD and Proparco have launched the Sunref programs in partnership with banks in those countries. The objective of these green finance programs is to give companies the resources to seize opportunities arising out of the ecological transition. Through Sunref, they can finance projects tied to energy efficiency, renewable energy, natural resources management and environmental protection. 

Sunref’s loans, investment grants and technical assistance allow companies to purchase higher quality equipment, achieve cost savings and become more competitive. Sunref also offers partner banks special conditions to allow them to seize the opportunities of green finance.



The innovation of Sunref lies in the combination of a financial approach and a technical approach to meet the demand of partner banks and project initiators:

  • The financial approach provides local partner banks with long-term loans. These green credit lines are based on certain criteria (maturity of the green finance market, nature of the investments, clients targeted) and can be allocated on favorable terms.
  • The technical approach supports and boosts the finance market for green investments. It helps banks finance projects and builds the capacities of companies to implement strategies for an optimized use of energy and natural resources.


The Sunref programs cover three investment sectors: energy efficiency, renewable energies and the environment.  

  1. Energy efficiency
    Much of the equipment used in companies is obsolete and inefficient, which hinders their competitiveness. New green equipment and technologies would reduce energy consumption and thereby improve the energy efficiency of companies, while providing productivity gains. Sunref assists with the replacement or upgrading of energy-intensive equipment (such as boilers and heat recovery units, refrigeration systems, compressors and air-conditioning systems), thermal insulation and energy management in buildings.
  2. Renewable energies
    Investing in solar, wind, geothermal, hydro and biomass energy, along with other renewable energies, provides an opportunity for companies to be more self-sufficient in their energy production and reduce their consumption. This approach also uses local resources, while reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and the volatility of their prices on international markets. Sunref supports the installation of photovoltaic and wind systems, small geothermal plants, as well as hydropower and biomass combustion systems for energy production.
  3. Environment
    The implementation of environmentally-friendly technologies and practices improves the image of a company and its competitive position, in particular in terms of accessing international markets. Improving health and safety conditions also protects the physical capital and health of their staff. Sunref contributes to reducing the costs of production, water consumption and fuel. The program also assists with waste recycling and the introduction of green technologies in companies.

Further reading:

  • See examples of projects financed by the Sunref program in Tunisia in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energies and environmental protection.
  • The Sunref Mauritius information website presents the initiative in a video and provides a list of eligible projects.


Sunref is a label developed by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group.
In some countries, Sunref benefits from:
The financial participation of the European Union
and/or the support of international partners committed to sustainable development. Cooperation with these institutions helps build expertise in green finance.




Institutional document

Sunref Palestine- Success Stories

Sunref Palestine- Success Stories
Aug 2022

Sunref Palestine: An AFD Group Green Finance label

Sunref Palestine: An AFD Group Green Finance label
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All Ressources
projects successfully implemented since 2006
partner banks in over 30 countries of operation
billion euros in loans allocated by AFD Group