There was significant momentum in this product from corporate borrowers globally, with notable loans from Shell ($US10 billion), Germany’s E.ON (€3.5 billion), renewable energy equipment supplier Siemens Gamesa (€2.5 billion) and chemicals company Lanxess (€1 billion).
Another notable SLL was a $US1.8 billion revolving credit facility for commodities company Louis Dreyfus that covered multiple jurisdictions namely North America, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Elsewhere, New Zealand dairy producer Synlait Milk signed New Zealand’s first SLL (ANZ as Lead Arranger) while Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods refinanced existing loans totalling $C2 billion that linked the interest margin to the company’s sustainability targets, a first for that country.
Pressure continues to grow on companies to focus on the risk of climate change and investors have shown they are willing to use their position to advocate for change and transition.
Some examples include Sweden’s central bank Riksbank, which announced in November it had sold all of its Queensland, Western Australian and Alberta government bonds due on climate grounds.
The European Investment Bank said it would end fossil fuel funding and align all funding activities to the Paris Climate Agreement from 2021 and fund manager giant Blackrock’s recent decision to exit thermal coal producers should add more pressure to companies to take necessary climate action.
Combined, these moves indicate a growing commitment to sustainable practices which should continue to drive the financing decisions of treasurers through 2020.
Katharine Tapley is Head of Sustainable Finance at ANZ