This article was originally published by Capita Land and is republished with permission.
The five-year multi-currency facility is the largest sustainability-linked bilateral loan in Singapore
Singapore, 4 October 2018 – CapitaLand has secured a S$300 million multi-currency sustainability-linked loan from DBS Bank (DBS). The five-year term loan and revolving credit facility is the first and largest sustainability-linked loan in Asia’s real estate sector. It is also Singapore’s largest sustainability-linked financing provided by a sole lender.
This sustainability-linked loan extends beyond the conventional concept of being ‘green’ or attaining a green rating. The loan is explicitly linked to CapitaLand’s listing on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), which tracks the performance of the world’s leading companies in environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts. CapitaLand is the highest ranked Singapore company, and one of only two Singapore companies that are listed on the 2018 DJSI World. With this sustainability-linked loan, CapitaLand has the flexibility to use the loan for general corporate purposes, unlike green loans where proceeds are applied towards the funding of specific projects.
In addition, interest rates on the sustainability-linked loan will be further reduced on a tiered basis, contingent on CapitaLand’s ongoing performance measured against a robust set of ESG indicators based on RobecoSAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), and a retained listing on the DJSI World. RobecoSAM is an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM also publishes the globally recognised Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), including the DJSI World.
Mr Andrew Lim, Group Chief Financial Officer for CapitaLand Group said: “CapitaLand’s ESG achievements distinguish us in Asia’s real estate sector. Dovetailing CapitaLand’s ESG efforts with our cost of funding further demonstrates our commitment to embed sustainability into our business in the long run and is core to CapitaLand’s role as a responsible real estate company.”
“With growing public expectations and deeper focus on sustainability, embracing sustainability is not only good for our shared communities, but also beneficial for business. By working with committed partners such as DBS and RobecoSAM, we aim to identify and capture the tangible benefits of good sustainability practices. As we seek to continually deliver long-term value for our stakeholders, we remain guided by our credo, ‘Building People. Building Communities.’, to improve the economic, environmental and social well-being of the communities we operate in,” he added.
CapitaLand’s ESG achievements distinguish us in Asia’s real estate sector. Dovetailing CapitaLand’s ESG efforts with our cost of funding further demonstrates our commitment to embed sustainability into our business in the long run and is core to CapitaLand’s role as a responsible real estate company
Mr Chew Chong Lim, Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate at Institutional Banking Group, DBS Bank said: “There are growing expectations for corporates to adopt more sustainable practices. A focus on financials, while important, will no longer suffice. We need to magnify the overlapping interests among the financial bottom line, the environment and our society. Together with like-minded partners like CapitaLand, DBS is committed to developing banking solutions that will help us contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and craft a sustainable future for all.”
Mr Edoardo Gai, Head of Sustainability Services of RobecoSAM said: “CapitaLand is at the forefront of Singapore’s real estate sector in securing this sustainability-linked loan. The Group has consistently shown that investing in sustainability is good business. At RobecoSAM, through our rigorous assessment and ranking of ESG global practices, we have advocated, and assisted investors to seek better value from ESG investing. We believe that this landmark collaboration between CapitaLand and DBS should inspire others in Asia to emulate.”
CapitaLand’s Track Record in Sustainability
CapitaLand and DBS are among the founding members of the Singapore Circle of Practice for Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) which was launched in April 2018. The first in Asia, the A4S seeks to adopt, learn and improve on addressing social and environmental risks and opportunities through financial processes and decision making.
In September 2018, in addition to being one of only two Singapore companies to enter the DJSI World, CapitaLand was the only company in Asia amongst the top 10 real estate firms in the index this year. CapitaLand has been included in the index for seven years in a row. CapitaLand is also the longest-standing Singapore company in the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index for a decade consecutively. In the same month, CapitaLand was also ranked amongst the Top 100 and the highest ranked Southeast Asian company in Forbes’ 2018 Global 2000: Top Regarded Companies.
In February 2018, CapitaLand was the only Singapore company to receive the “Silver Class” distinction in real estate, in RobecoSAM’s The Sustainability Yearbook 2018. In addition, CapitaLand was the highest ranked real estate management company in the 2018 Global 100 World’s Most Sustainable Companies Index. CapitaLand has also been included for the 5th consecutive year in the FTSE4Good Indices which comprise companies that have demonstrated strong environmental, social and governance policies and practices.
CapitaLand is also consistently transparent with its ESG efforts, being one of the first companies to voluntarily publish its first annual sustainability report in 2009. This is before the reporting guidelines and requirements by Singapore Exchange (SGX) in 2011 and 2016 respectively. CapitaLand’s Global Sustainability Report is also externally assured with all figures, statements and claims related to sustainability, validated.
In its latest Global Sustainability Report, CapitaLand reported a 29.4% reduction in carbon emissions intensity since 2008, exceeding its 2020 target of 23%. It has achieved 23.4% and 24.1% energy and water reduction (per m2 from base year 2008) respectively, exceeding its 2020 target of 20%. This resulted in S$140 million in utilities cost avoidance since 2009. In Singapore, 93% of CapitaLand’s existing buildings (by m2) has at least a Green Mark Gold rating. For more on CapitaLand’s sustainability efforts, please refer to the CapitaLand 2017 Global Sustainability Report.
 For more about RobecoSAM and their Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), please refer to Annex A.