SOURCE: FORTIS

January 22, 2008 11:04 ET

Fortis teams up with Green Award Foundation

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - January 22, 2008) - Fortis and the Green Award Foundation have jointly announced a cooperation agreement whereby Fortis has become a Green Award Incentive Provider.

Fortis is the first bank to be a Green Award Incentive Provider. Fortis supports the Green Award Foundation as a recent study shows that "on average, ships that are certified by Green Award show a lower amount of deficiencies than ships that are not certified.*"

Every ocean going vessel should comply with (inter)national laws and regulations which are known and accepted in the Marine industry worldwide. The Green Award certificate can be awarded to vessels which are extra safe, extra clean. A Green Award ship meets high, but manageable technical and managerial requirements. An increasing number of ports and nautical providers recognize the value of Green Award and offer special rates and other advantages to Green Award vessels.

As part of the agreement, Fortis will, as of 1 January 2008, contribute to the Green Award Incentive Program by providing its shipping customers a discount on the costs related to joining the Green Award.

Fortis will reimburse its clients:

--  25% of the annual Green Award fees for vessels that are
    financed by Fortis, and
--  25% of the Green Award office audit fees for the (shipping)
    companies that are a client of Fortis.
    

Fortis will actively promote the Green Award program amongst its customers.

Shipping is an important industry. More than 90 percent of global trade is carried by ships. For many cargoes there is no alternative but sea transport. The shipping community started several initiatives to look into and to address the environmental and social issues that play a role in this global industry, such as Clean Cargo Working Group and Ecodock.


Harris Antoniou, CEO of Energy, Commodities and Transportation within Fortis said: "Doing business has an impact on the world around us. At Fortis we aim to conduct business in a responsible manner and we have made an effort to integrate sustainability into our ship finance business. A result of these efforts is the initiative to become the first bank to be a Green Award Incentive Provider.

Eric Bouwmeester, general manager Corporate and Social Responsibility at Fortis said: "The cooperation with the Green Award Foundation is a fine example of how Fortis can realise constructive partnerships to the benefit of its clients in the shipping sector. At the same time it underlines the importance and potential of sustainability in developing Fortis's leadership".

Jan Fransen, Managing Director Green Award Foundation said: "Fortis took the lead to partner in the Green Award program and integrate the scheme with the Fortis values on sustainability thereby promoting quality shipping. We hope other institutions like banks and insurance companies will follow this example".



Green Award Foundation

The Green Award Foundation is an independent foundation, established 1994 on the initiative of the Rotterdam Municipal Port Management and the Dutch Ministry of Transport. Since 1 January 2000 the organization is completely independent. Every ocean going vessel should comply with (inter)national laws and regulations which are known and accepted in the Marine industry worldwide. The Green Award Flag can be awarded to vessels which are extra safe, extra clean. Green Award vessels are the vanguard of the international shipping industry. A Green Award ship meets high, but manageable technical and managerial requirements. An increasing number of ports and nautical providers recognize the value of Green Award and offer special rates and other advantages to Green Award vessels. The Green Award certificate confirms the high quality of the vessel and it contributes to a positive image of the ship owner with all the advantages this entails. More and more shipping-companies apply for a Green Award for their vessels. Green Award checks on a yearly basis if a vessel still meets the requirements and performs and office audit once every three years. More information can be found at http://www.greenaward.org

Fortis is an international financial services provider engaged in banking and insurance. We offer our personal, business and institutional customers a comprehensive package of products and services through our own channels, in collaboration with intermediaries and through other distribution partners. With a market capitalisation of EUR 39.7 billion (31/12/2007), Fortis ranks among the 15 largest financial institutions in Europe. Our sound solvency position, our presence in over 50 countries and our dedicated, professional workforce of 60,000 enable us to combine global strength with local flexibility and provide our clients with optimum support. More information is available at www.fortis.com.

Fortis Merchant Banking

Fortis Merchant Banking provides high-value tailor-made services to medium-sized companies, large corporates and institutionals. As a worldwide organisation, we have developed special expertise in cash & treasury management, debt, equity and structured finance, trading & financial risk hedging, financial advisory and structuring. We serve commodity producers, traders and distributors all over the world. We are a world leader in fund administration, global custody, securities lending and clearing services.

Energy, Commodities & Transportation is a high growth business line within Merchant Banking that offers a full range of banking solutions to companies active in the industrial value chain of energy, commodities and transportation. Our extensive market knowledge and diversity of people located globally have made us leaders in these industries.

Whether it is oil & gas exploration, conventional or renewable power production, energy marketing and trading or infrastructure Fortis is active throughout the complete energy chain. For the physical flow of commodities, we provide financing at all stages - pre production, pre export, transportation, storage of stocks and receivables as well as commodities derivatives, currency hedging, carbon trading and risk management. To connect producers and off takers in the industrial value chain of energy and commodities Fortis is one of the world's leading international transport financiers. We provide coverage to clients in the deep-sea shipping, offshore and oil field services, aviation and intermodal industries. More than 500 ECT professional in 23 offices worldwide are ready to assist you with all your energy, commodities and transportation banking requirements. You can find more information on: www.merchantbanking.fortis.com

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