GuocoLand Secures S$974 Million Green Facility and Establishes Green Finance Framework
Listen to this story:
GuocoLand Limited has secured a S$974 million green club facility from DBS Bank, United Overseas Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation for the refinancing of the commercial component of Guoco Tower.
This green facility is GuocoLand’s largest to date and is raised under its newly established Green Finance Framework. The Framework gives GuocoLand and its subsidiaries access to various fundraising options including bonds, loans and other forms of debt financing with structures tailored to contribute to sustainable development through the application of net proceeds to Eligible Green Projects in accordance with the Framework criteria and guidelines. DBS, UOB and OCBC are the Green Loan Advisors of the Framework.
Prior to the development of the Framework, GuocoLand had secured green financing, comprising S$700 million and S$730 million facilities for the development of Lentor Modern and Midtown Modern (including the commercial components), respectively. With the latest green facility, GuocoLand has secured a total of more than S$2.4 billion of green financing to date.
Mr Andrew Chew, Group Chief Financial Officer, GuocoLand, said, “Our newly established Green Finance Framework is envisioned to support our ongoing decarbonisation journey as well as our efforts to contribute to the Singapore Green Plan 2030.”
Guoco Tower is an integrated mixed-use development at Tanjong Pagar, comprising 890,000 sq ft of Premium Grade A office space, 100,000 sq ft of retail space, 181 exclusive apartments at Wallich Residence, a luxury hotel in Sofitel Singapore City Centre and a 150,000 sq ft Urban Park. It holds two of the highest green building certifications in the industry – the Green Mark Platinum award rating by the Building and Construction Authority and the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Proceeds of the loan will go towards refinancing Guoco Tower, GuocoLand’s flagship asset. Initiatives to enhance its green-building performance include improvements to the efficiency of its air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation system and upgrades to the Building Management System to better monitor the tower’s energy consumption.
Added Mr Chew, “Guoco Tower is designed as a sustainable development built with some of the best technologies and systems available. Sustainability is important to our stakeholders, including our tenants, and we are committed to the highest levels of performance in terms of energy and water consumption.”
The Framework is aligned with the Green Loan Principles 2023 by the Loan Market Association, Asia Pacific Loan Market Association and the Loan Syndications and Trading Association, as well as the Green Bond Principles 2021 (including the June 2022 Appendix 1) by the International Capital Market Association and the ASEAN Green Bond Standards 2018 by the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum. The eligible categories in the Framework are likely to contribute to several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
In-line with the Framework, GuocoLand has committed to transparent reporting of relevant, material information of its Green Finance Transactions, including the relevant environmental impact resulting from the Eligible Green Projects financed by the GFTs.
Moody’s Investors Service was engaged to conduct an independent external review of the Framework and has issued a Second Party Opinion1, which assigns an SQS2 sustainability score (equivalent to ‘Very Good’) to the Framework. GuocoLand’s Framework and Moody’s SPO can be viewed on GuocoLand’s website.
GuocoLand was awarded the Green Mark Champion award in 2020 by BCA for achieving a substantial number of Green Mark buildings at Gold Level or higher. Besides Guoco Tower, GuocoLand’s second integrated mixed-use development Guoco Midtown also received BCA’s Green Mark Platinum award.