Content section

Keskkonnainvesteeringute Keskus

About us

The Foundation Environmental Investments Centre (EIC) is a financial institution, mediating state budget funds (revenues from environmental charges), EU funds, funds from foreign aid programmes and the Green Investment Scheme, and granting loans for the implementation of environmental projects.

Our vision:
Efficient cooperation between EIC and its partners has reduced Estonia’s ecological footprint.

Our mission:
To ensure maximum efficiency by channelling every euro for the benefit of the Estonian people, a healthy living environment, and resource-efficient development of the country.

Our main values:

We know our field. We operate using the best knowledge, skills, and experience available. We are constantly improving ourselves, to become better and more competent.

We acknowledge and value the diversity of ideas and solutions, and appreciate simplicity and transparency. We are tolerant and loyal to our organisation, and offer creative solutions.

We are honest and loyal to our organisation, and value certain principles. We do not tolerate misuse of funds. We value cooperation with partners who share our views.

We know our goals. We operate in a dedicated and efficient manner in order to achieve them.

We value and establish cooperation that supports environmentally aware behaviour and ensures the best positive impact of environmental investments.


May-June 2000

Siim Kallas, the Minister of Finance, signs the decision to found EIC; the centre is registered in the register of foundations and non-profit associations.

June 2000

The first decisions are made by the council of EIC on funding environmental projects from the proceeds from exploitation of environment.

January 2001

EIC is appointed the implementing body for funding of external aid projects from the pre-accession EU structural fund ISPA.

October 2001

Estonia enters into a contract with the Ministry of Finance for mediation of loans from the Nordic Investment Bank to environmental projects.

July 2002

The first yearbook is drawn up.

April 2004

EIC is appointed the implementing body in mediation of the aid from the Cohesion Fund in the period of 2004–2006. From this point on, the projects funded from the ISPA budget are implemented by the rules and with the funds of the Cohesion Fund.

Granting of environmental loans commences.

May 2004

EIC is appointed the implementing body of mediation of the aid from the European Regional Development Fund in the period of 2004–2006.

December 2005

Offices of EIC are opened in all Estonian counties.

May 2006

The most successful developers of environmental projects are acknowledged for the first time – Antsla rural municipality government wins the Ant of the Year award.

January 2008

EIC is named the implementing body of mediating the aid from the Cohesion Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund in the period of 2007–2013.

August 2008

EIC moves into a new office – from Rävala 8 to a new location at Narva 7a.

September 2009

EIC and the Ministry of Finance enter into a loan contract on the basis of which EIC is allocated for on-lending a share of the loan from the European Investment Bank.

May 2010

10 years pass from the founding of EIC.

July 2010

EIC and the Ministry of the Environment enter into an administrative contract, which obliges EIC to trade with CO2 emission units or the Assigned Amount Units (AAU) and to implement the green investment scheme.

November 2013

The administrative contract between EIC and the Ministry of the Environment is complemented with a provision which enables EIC to organise environmental activities, which support development of the field and help increase the quality of the project applications submitted.

January 2014

EIC will carry on as the implementing body of mediation of the aid from the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund in the period of 2014–2020.

May 2015

EIC celebrates its 15th year with a conference, which brings together the players in the field of environmental issues. The County Ant competition is resurrected to acknowledge the implementers of the best project of the year.

September 2015

In the budget period of 2014–2020, the Government extends the loan granted to EIC in 2009 for co-funding water projects in the extent of 30 million euros.

September 2015

The Council of EIC approves the rules and regulations for organising sectoral programmes and the topic of the pilot study.

December 2015

In an international seminar organised in Haapsalu, the project of refurbishing the street lighting in seven Estonian towns, which lasted over two years and cost 16.2 million euros, is drawn to a conclusion. EIC served as the party directing the aid as well as – for the first time – the project manager.

Sources of funding

The aid and loans granted by EIC are funded from four sources: the environmental charges collected in the Republic of Estonia, the structural funds of the European Union, a share of the European Investment Bank (EIB) loan to Estonia, and sales of Estonian CO2 emission units (also known as the Green Investment Scheme). Funding of the principle activities has changed in the course of the years – while we mainly granted aids from the funds of the Republic of Estonia in our first years of operation, the volume of foreign aid projects has significantly exceeded the volume of the above in the last few years.

Environmental charges are established by the state and there are two types of charges: the natural resources exploitation charge and the pollution charge. The former is intended as a fee paid for exploitation of a natural resource and the latter as a compensation for the pollution resulting from operations. Both types of the charge concern us all indirectly as well as directly. For example, the pollution charge is paid by landfills and, through the charges established by the waste treatment facility, by us as well. Exploitation of natural resources includes, among other issues, fishing and hunting and permits are required for both of these activities with the cash paid to obtain a permit constituting an exploitation charge.

The amounts of the charges are established by the Environmental Charges Act and guidelines for using the proceeds from the charges are provided by a regulation issued by the Minister of the Environment. The funds distributed by EIC in the form of aid are collectively referred to as the environmental programme, which involves ten areas: fishery, water economy, waste handling, nature conservation, forestry, management of environment, marine environment, earth, atmosphere air conservation, and environmental awareness. A share of the proceeds from the environmental charges received by EIC is also allocated for granting of environmental loans (targeted loans for organizing environmental projects).

The lifecycle of funding environmental programme projects from the legislative process to implementation of the project is pictured in the figure below:

Levelling of the economic and social differences between the European Union (EU) Member States and balanced development are among the main priorities of the EU. A common regional policy has been established for decreasing the differences, which is supported through various structural funds. Granting of aid is organised by 7-year periods in the EU and based on the programmes submitted by each Member State.

Estonia joined the EU in 2004. This was in the middle of the aid period of 2000–2006, due to which the period for using the funds was shorter for Estonia, i.e., the programme period was 2004–2006. The current aid period runs from 2014–2020.

In addition to the two above mentioned periods, Estonia also received aid prior to accession to the EU. Preparatory works for drawing up large-scale infrastructure projects and waste and water management projects were funded through the ISPA (Instrument for Structural Policies Pre-Accession). Upon accession of Estonia to the EU, all projects that were ongoing at the time automatically became Cohesion Fund projects and are included in the review of the period of 2004–2006.

The logic of granting of EU aids and the lifecycle of application for aid are pictured in the figure below:


The funding activity is assessed at the level of all foundations and measures on the basis of an annual monitoring report. The main data of the report is compiled by EIC and the report is complemented by the Ministry of the Environment by adding evaluations of fulfilling of the environmental policy goals and assessment of the impacts. The monitoring report provides an overview of the results of the measures (this part of the report is drawn up based on the reports of the projects sent by the recipients of aid), with financial indicators and details about the content (what was achieved with the help of the aid) also analysed. The report also discusses the wider impact of the aid on the environmental condition and on implementation of horizontal policies of the European Union (regional development, employment, gender equality, etc).

This consolidated report provides information to the wider public about what has been done with aid from EU and about the progress of implementation of the projects. The review also provides the bodies drawing up the rules for funding an idea of whether the focus or rules of the field of activity require changing.

More information about the work and reports of the monitoring committee of the operational programme “Development of the Living Environment” is available on the website of the Ministry of the Environment.

On the 25th of May, 2009, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Ministry of Finance signed a loan contract for 550 million euros, i.e., 8.6 billion kroons. The loan is used for co-financing foreign aid projects and for funding investments into road construction. 130 million euros or a bit more than 2 billion Estonian kroons of this money was lent by the Ministry of Finance to EIC for lending-on to water enterprises and local municipalities in order to ensure self-financing for the water economy infrastructure projects supported from the Cohesion Fund.

In the light of the economic depression which began in 2009, loans from EIC ensure liquidity of enterprises and local municipalities in implementing large-scale projects as the criteria for qualifying for a bank loan have toughened. Targeted loans are also significantly more favourable than the loans offered by private banks. The loans are granted for the maximum of twenty years and all borrowers are granted long periods of grace, which means that the borrower will only be paying the interest for up to two years after completion of the project. The loan interest is based on six months EURIBOR plus the risk margin, which is usually lower than two percent.

In July 2010, the Ministry of the Environment and the EIC signed a contract under public law, according to which the EIC commits to trading with the state’s unused CO2 emission allowance and implementing a green investment scheme, i.e. allocating grants to clean projects from the revenues gained.


The sale of the state’s unused emission allowance for the period 2008-2012 is possible due to the Kyoto Protocol, which allows states to sell their unused permitted emission units (AAU) to other states. During the period 2018-2012, Estonia found itself with an AAU surplus as a result of the thorough reorganisation of the economy following the restoration of independence, when the latest technology and alternative energy production methods were adopted, the state began to utilise more renewable sources of energy, austerity measures were implemented in energy use, etc.
Estonia was quite successful when it came to AAU sales and the utilisation of received resources. During the period 2010-2013 it signed a total of 22 deals totalling EUR 392.6 million with the Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Spain, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and several large Japanese corporations. The received money was used by different institutions to carry out green investment scheme programmes, according to which money was directed towards activities for reducing CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases.

Sales transactions of the state’s unused emission allowance in 2010-2013


Since 2005, the European Union has in place the EU ETS (European Union Emissions Trading System) post-directive 2009/29/EC, which includes 46 Estonian enterprises engaged in energy (production with capacity exceeding 20 MW), the processing of mineral materials, metallurgy or the chemical industry. Trading is carried out via auction on the platform created by the European Union. Using the platform, EU Member States must sell all quantities of AAUs that are not allocated to enterprises for free, and direct at least 50% of revenues to measures and projects related to alleviating and adapting to climate change. Pursuant to the state budgetary strategy of Estonia (SBS), a portion of the revenues received from the auction are also allocated to supporting developing countries.
The estimated revenue from auctions as per 2016 SBS totals is EUR 145.3 million, out of which EUR 118.93 million is directed into energy measures and EUR 26.28 million into nature conservation measures. The auctioning revenue forecast is updated at least twice a year and, if necessary, the list of funded measures (which can be found from is also updated at the same time.
The EIC provides funding from SBS auction revenues to the following programmes:



Since 2014, the auctioning of aviation AAUs began post-directive 2009/29/EC, according to which 100% of the auctioning revenues must be used for alleviating and adapting to climate change. The revenue forecast as per the state budgetary strategy for 2013-2020 is a total of EUR 400,000, and information on the use of funds can be found at


The state’s unused CO2 emission allowance can be traded on the basis of the EU Effort Sharing Decision No 406/2009/EC, which establishes a commitment to the EU Member States to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in sectors not included in abovementioned EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) concerning large corporates. These sectors are transportation, agriculture, waste management and industrial processes (incl. emission of F-gases) and small-scale energy production (in devices with rated output lower than 20 MW), incl. the buildings sector. Emissions from these sectors in the EU as a whole constitute 55% of the state’s total emissions, being nearly 30% in Estonia; however, the proportion in total emissions by Estonia is increasing over time.
In the current period until 2020, there is practically no demand for this type of unit (AEA). Increased demand is foreseen for the period 2020-2030, where the abovementioned legislation is prolonged and the ambition of goals increased. In order to trade, a state must implement a set of more efficient policies and measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, in order to primarily ensure fulfilment of annual targets set for the state and to create a surplus of units for trading.

Development plan

EIC’s development plan establishes our development directions and forms the basis for the annual working plans and updates to the day-to-day organisation of work, helping us to confidently and quickly move towards fulfilling our mission and vision.
The development plan is in Estonian.


The style book and logos of EIC

The visual language of the Environmental Investment Centre is presented in the style book of the foundation. The book includes the rules of how to use the logo and slogan of EIC and how to portray the identity of EIC on data media or souvenirs. Any questions related to the visual identity of EIC should be addressed to the communication unit.

If you would like to use the logo of EIC to refer to an aid from the environmental programme, further information on this can be obtained from the guidelines for referring to aid from EIC.

The logo of EIC is available in three languages: Estonian, English and Russian. In addition to the classic logo in capital letters, the logo of EIC can also be used horizontally. Read more about using the logo of EIC from the style book.

What are we doing to preserve the environment?

Taking into consideration the mission, vision and goals of EIC, which are oriented at preserving a healthy living environment, it is our desire to increase the positive environmental impact of EIC by raising the environmental awareness of our employees. For this purpose, we are following the principles of a Green Office in our daily activities, i.e., responsible work and environmental protection:

  • we are improving the resource-efficiency of our activities and implementing measures to save energy;
  • we are introducing paper-free operations and organisation of more efficient use of paper;
  • we are avoiding waste generation and promoting separate collection of different types of waste;
  • in purchasing products and services (information and communication technology, paper, chemicals, office supplies, catering for information days, etc), we proceed from the principles of environment-friendly procurements, i.e., the green purchasing policy;
  • if possible, we are decreasing the environmental impact arising from business trips and promoting sustainable organisation of transportation;
  • we are ensuring a healthy and socially responsible working environment for our employees (ergonomic working conditions, possibilities for promoting health, increasing the awareness of the employees of health-related and social issues, etc);
  • we are monitoring and evaluating the efficiency of our environmental activities;
  • we are providing comprehensive information to increase the environmental awareness of our employees and partners. We are thinking, discussing and deciding together how to implement the principles of preserving the environment in the best possible manner.

EIC is attempting to take into consideration and implement the above mentioned principles in its daily activities as much as possible. The principles of a Green Office have been introduced to all employees and are accessible to all.

Submitting and receiving documents


Submission and receipt of documents at foundation Environmental Investments Centre (EIC)

Documents may be submitted on paper or digitally. A document is deemed officially received by EIC, if it has been signed and submitted on paper or signed digitally and sent by e-mail. The format of the document should be .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf, .xls, .xlsx, .dwg, .bdoc or .ddoc.

All digitally signed documents should be sent electronically to the general e-mail address info [at] The software Digidoc Client of AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus (Certification Centre Ltd.) should be used for providing digital signature.

The maximum permitted volume of digitally signed documents sent to EIC is 10 MB. For submitting large documents, the document exchange centre (DEC) or EIC’s file exchange environment ( should be used.

The DEC is an information system providing a common central document exchange service for various document management systems (DMS) as well as other information systems that handle documents.
The EIC’s file exchange environment is available to all customers who are required to register first when accessing the page.

Documents sent by post or delivered by hand should be sent to:

SA Keskkonnainvesteeringute Keskus
Narva mnt 7A

The office of EIC is open from 8.45 – 17.15 on business days.
Further information by calling 627 4171.

About submission of documents:

• If possible, please submit documents concerning one specific matter in the same manner – electronically or on paper.
• In the case of submission of documents on paper, please also submit a covering letter, specifying in detail what is being submitted and by whom. In the case of sending documents electronically, the required information should be specified on the subject line and in the content of the e-mail.
• In the case of submitting project-related documents, please always specify the name and number of the project.
• Please specify the names of the files sent electronically properly and clearly (e.g., CC 1, KDNK 1, invoice no. 1250, etc.).
• If possible, please submit project applications, cost claims (CC), contract documents, reports, procurement plans, etc. in separate digital containers. E.g., include the documents of CC no. 10 in one and the documents related to a certain procurement in another digital container.

All documents received are registered in the document management system of the foundation EIC. After registration, the documents are sent to processing based on the field of activity.


Kuidas meid leida