Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Westpac & Contact agree 1st sustainability-linked loan

Westpac NZ and Contact Energy have entered into a $50 million, four-year sustainability-linked loan facility, the first such loan issued by Westpac NZ and one of the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Contact Energy will receive a discounted interest rate on the sustainability-linked loan if it meets ambitious targets linked to its environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating determined by the independent ratings agency RobecoSAM. Conversely, Contact will pay higher interest costs if it doesn’t meet the rating targets agreed with Westpac.

The incentive targets align with continual improvement in Contact Energy’s ESG performance, including assessment of its climate strategy, electricity generation mix, corporate governance and stakeholder engagement.

Westpac NZ’s Head of Sustainable Finance, Joanna Silver, said the loan was a good example of businesses working together to drive better environmental and social outcomes, and enhanced corporate governance.

“Sustainability-linked loans are an incentive-based tangible tool for companies to demonstrate their sustainability commitments to stakeholders and the public. Globally, a growing number of companies are aligning their sustainability performance with their cost of capital,” Ms Silver said.

“Contact Energy has taken a holistic and multi-dimensional approach to achieve a range of sustainability outcomes. Westpac recognises the value of our business customers using capital to generate better, longer-term outcomes for their company and for all New Zealanders, and we want to reward them through innovative lending structures.”

Environmental Finance data shows the global sustainability-linked loan market grew from $US5 billion in 2017 to $36 billion in 2018, and continues to expand.

Contact Energy’s General Manager Financial Services, Louise Tong, said the sustainability-linked loan aligns with Contact’s desire to continuously improve in areas that matter to stakeholders, including environmental and emissions metrics. “It’s a dynamic tool that rewards and incentivises performance across a range of ESG metrics. It also complements our green borrowing programme which reflects the low carbon nature of our generation assets.”

Ms Tong said Contact linked the facility to the RobecoSAM assessment because it was independent, transparent, highly respected and most favoured by investors globally.

“We’re pleased to be playing our part in helping develop this innovative bank-lending market. It gives us another way we can help support decarbonisation for our business customers,many of whom will look to banks to support the funding required for decarbonisation,” she said.

“We applaud Westpac NZ’s commitment to growing this aspect of the loan market and providing opportunities and incentives for businesses to contribute to a thriving New Zealand.”

Westpac NZ also acknowledges Chapman Tripp for legal advice the firm provided to incorporate the innovative sustainability-linked structure into the loan agreement, and their ongoing commitment to development of the domestic sustainable finance market.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

REINZ: Million Dollar Plus Property Sales Increase 11.7% Nationally

The number of properties sold around the country for one million dollars or more during the first half (H1) of 2020 increased by 11.7% compared to H1 2019, with 5,426 million-dollar plus properties sold (up from 4,858 in H1 2019) according to the Real ... More>>

Waste: Government To Regulate Plastic Packaging, Tyres, E-Waste

The Government is stepping up action to deal with environmentally harmful products – including plastic packaging, tyres and e-waste – before they become waste. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills, ... More>>

ALSO:


Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: