The Asian Banker Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Macquarie University and CBA reinvest sustainability-linked loan savings in scholarships

5 min read

Macquarie University and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have committed to reinvesting savings from the University’s inaugural sustainability-linked loan (SLL) in scholarships for disadvantaged students, in an innovative application of sustainable finance.

Macquarie has become one of the first universities in Australia to establish an SLL, as part of refinancing $450 million of bank facilities. Commonwealth Bank acted as sustainability coordinator on this transaction, which aligns with the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association’s updated 2023 SLL Principles, as confirmed by a second-party opinion from DNV.

SLL incentivise sustainability performance through tying financing costs to performance against pre-agreed social and environmental key performance indicators (KPI). Macquarie’s KPI include: reducing Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, improving biodiversity, Indigenous cultural safety and awareness of UN Sustainability Development Goals, gender equality, and widening participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for blind and visually impaired, and deaf and hard of hearing children, as well as women and girls.

Deborah Leerhsen, executive general manager for global client solutions at CBA, commended the University’s continued commitment to driving better social and environmental outcomes.

She said: “Commonwealth Bank is proud to support Macquarie University not only with its first sustainability-linked loan, but also with the commitment to reinvest any savings in scholarships for disadvantaged students. This innovative application of sustainable finance to better serve the communities in which we operate resonates with CBA’s purpose, to build a brighter future for all.”

“Macquarie University is leading the way. The broadness of the scope of the KPI, which include emissions, social and biodiversity targets, and the materiality of these goals to the University’s operations, show how SLL can support issuers to achieve their ambitions. Importantly, Macquarie continues to aim higher, demonstrating to the market that a mature sustainability programme supports successful execution of strategy,” Leerhsen added.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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