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Financing frustration: Mober CEO raises greenwashing concerns after local bank rejection

By Eileen Mencias

Mober’s founder and CEO Dennis Ng has raised concerns about potential “greenwashing” among Philippine banks.

Mober Technology Pte. Inc., a logistics company at the forefront of green technology in the Philippines, currently operates a fleet of 60 electric vehicle trucks, with plans to expand to 300.

Ng shared that Mober initially sought funding from a local bank, which promotes its commitment to environmental sustainability and is backed by an international bank specializing in funding projects for environmental conservation and climate change adaptation. However, when this effort fell through, Mober approached other banks.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the green light for the proposed fleet expansion,” Ng recalls.

The rejection, he was told, stemmed from the approval committee’s preference to wait for the electric vehicle (EV) industry to mature, citing concerns about maintenance, resale value, and the development of a secondary market.

This perspective overlooks the significant advancements in the EV market in countries like China, where electric vehicles are far from being considered novelties. Mober ultimately secured its financing in Singapore, leading Ng to question how local banks might learn from international practices to better support green initiatives. He wonders if these banks are guilty of “greenwashing.”

Founded in 2015 and incorporating electric vehicles into its operations in October 2021, Mober’s dedication to sustainability has attracted major clients like IKEA and NestlĂ©, which are committed to reducing carbon emissions. This year, despite local banks’ reservations, Mober received new investment from a local angel investor, allowing for further expansion of its fleet.

Ng is now questioning, “What steps can we take to bridge the gap between innovative startups like Mober and traditional financial perceptions?

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