GPT Wholesale Office Fund prices inaugural Green Bond for $250 million

29 October 2021

The GPT Group had made a further commitment to a more sustainable future with the GPT Wholesale Office Fund pricing an inaugural Green Bond for $250 million for a tenor of 10 years.

The Green Bond carries a fixed coupon of 3.222% which was priced off a margin of 132 basis points over the swap rate. GWOF has assets of $9.4 billion including an ownership interest in 17 office assets across Australia’s eastern seaboard CBDs.

Martin Ritchie, Fund Manager of GPT Wholesale Office Fund said: “GPT is a recognised leader in the property industry with leading sustainability credentials and ambitions. This Green Bond further demonstrates our commitment to creating a more sustainable future.

“We are very pleased with the strong level of support received in GWOF’s inaugural Green Bond issuance from a broad investor base across Australia and Asia, including a number of new investors who were attracted to the green nature of the bond and GWOF’s sustainability credentials. This resulted in GWOF upsizing the transaction from its initial $200 million target.”

The Green Bond has been certified by the globally recognised Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) in line with leading market standards. Proceeds from GWOF’s Green Bond will be used to refinance existing GWOF assets that meet CBI’s Low Carbon Buildings Criteria, which require the assets to perform in the top 15% in their relative city in terms of carbon intensity.

Prior to launching GWOF’s inaugural Green Bond, GPT established its Sustainable Debt Framework (Framework) which outlines how GPT and its managed funds (including GWOF) intend to issue and manage sustainable debt. The Framework was assured by Ernst & Young.

Anthony Miller, Chief Executive of Westpac Institutional Bank said: “Westpac is proud to assist GPT in developing a Sustainable Debt Framework that recognises GPT’s long standing leadership in sustainability and its debut Green Bond transaction for GWOF. The quality of GWOF’s assets and the Green Bond structure was well supported by investors across Australia and Asia, resulting in the pricing tightening by 8 basis points from initial guidance.”

Christina Tonkin, ANZ Managing Director, Corporate Finance said: “ANZ is pleased to have supported GWOF’s inaugural Green Bond issue. The Green Bond leverages GWOF’s strong corporate sustainability strategy and was well received by investors, underscoring increasing demand for Green, Social, Sustainability and Sustainability-linked transactions. We congratulate the GWOF team on its successful debut.”

In 2020, GWOF achieved Carbon Neutral Certification across 100% of its operating portfolio. This was independently certified by NABERS and the Australian Government’s Climate Active for Buildings. The Green Building Council of Australia recognised this outcome as a first for a national property portfolio within the World Green Building Council Net Zero Carbon Building Commitment network.

Achieving GWOF’s carbon neutral target was a culmination of sustainability efforts and initiatives spanning over 15 years to drive efficiencies and optimise asset performance. Compared to a 2005 baseline, GWOF improved both energy and water efficiencies by more than 50% resulting in annual savings of $16 million in 2020. In addition to efficiencies, GWOF’s approach to carbon neutral certification includes procurement of 100% renewable electricity and the use of nature based offsets only for residual emissions.