Charter Hall has expanded its sustainability-linked loans by a further $1 billion, lifting total sustainable finance transactions across the Group to $2.4 billion, up from $1.4 billion at 31 December 2021.
These new facilities were completed by the Charter Hall Office Trust (the Fund) under its newly established Sustainability Linked Loan Framework, coordinated by Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Bank of China and Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank also acting as Sustainability Coordinators for the transactions.
Charter Hall’s Head of Treasury & Group Planning, Phil Schretzmeyer, said, “Charter Hall is pleased to welcome a significant increase in sustainable finance transactions to a total of $2.4 billion. Our sustainable finance offers another opportunity for the business to integrate ESG objectives throughout our operations to deliver long term, risk adjusted returns for investors, and lower operational costs.”
“These initiatives reflect how Charter Hall is meeting the increasing demand from tenant and investor customers for high quality assets with strong sustainability credentials. We will continue to position our assets and portfolios to leverage sustainable finance and create strong environmental and social value across our portfolio to achieve mutual success for the business, investors, tenants and communities.”
Charter Hall’s Group Head of ESG, Andrew Cole, said, “Australian real estate outperforms global ESG benchmarks, largely as a result of the strong uptake of voluntary and mandatory performance rating tools like Green Star and NABERS, which provide transparent and independent assessments.”
“As the Australian economy transitions to Net Zero Carbon, Charter Hall understands that buildings have – and will continue to have – a critical role in driving low carbon outcomes, given buildings account for a quarter of Australia’s emissions and almost half of the country’s electricity use.”
These facilities are linked to sustainability performance targets and internationally recognised independent sustainability reporting standards, delivering a financial benefit or cost to the Fund dependent on its performance against the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) laid out in the loan agreements.
A second party opinion has been provided by Sustainalytics, which found the KPIs to be in line with five core components of the Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles 2022. The KPIs will be measured against the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) and Green Star rating tools, which are administered by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, and the Green Building Council of Australia respectively.