Leading supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has taken out a loan to promote low-carbon investments that will help finance its numerous low-carbon programmes, in what is being regarded as a pioneering break-through in corporate sustainability.
The commercial loan, arranged via Lloyds and Rabobank, is the first loan to be officially classified as ‘green’ and taken out by a British blue chip – adding credibility to the loan in the corporate market.
The supermarket has stated that the programmes the loan will fund will be independently assessed by sustainability experts, known as Sustainalytics.
Sainsbury’s chief financial officer, John Rogers, said, “This £200 million green loan – which is the first of its kind in the UK – demonstrates our commitment and leadership in carbon-reduction and sustainability, and shows the value we attach to environmental improvements as demonstrated by our award-winning Project Graphite programme.”
The loan has been developed according to the independent Green Bond Principles, which guarantee the delivery of green investment projects are beneficial to the environment. The green bond industry is also a rapidly growing market, allowing funds to be raised for clean-tech investments and projects.
James Garvey, managing director and head of capital markets and portfolio management at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said, “We have supported several companies bringing green bonds to market and earlier this month issued our own Environment, Social and Governance bond.
“We are delighted to have utilised this expertise working with Sainsbury’s to create the first green loan and look forward to this market developing further.”
Specifically, Sainsbury’s have said the loan will be used to improve energy efficiency and install clean-energy systems at its stores – alongside current sustainability programmes.
Photo source: Elliot Brown via Flickr