Sustainability has moved from niche interest to mainstream demand among an environmentally and socially conscious community, with policy and activism fuelling this new challenge for lenders. Jurisdictions around the world are setting out sustainable finance roadmaps that realign their regulatory and financial policies to enable the financial system to contribute to, rather than hinder, the transition to a low emissions economy.
In New Zealand, the finance industry along with other key stakeholders, has a critical role to play in addressing the shift towards sustainable practices. The Aotearoa Circle’s Sustainable Finance Leadership Group is designing a roadmap to help the shift to a financial system that supports economic, social and environmental outcomes. The work of this group is being followed closely by government departments as part of their consultation on sustainable finance as well as related consultation on reporting requirements around ESG disclosure.
Our specialist finance lawyers are increasingly advising on products in the sustainable arena including:
- sustainable bonds
- green bonds
- impact and social investing
- credits for sustainable projects
- ESG facilities
- green forest bonds or social bonds.
- Advising ANZ Bank New Zealand on its innovative ESG facility linked loan for Synlait Milk. This is the first time any New Zealand company has agreed with its bank to link its sustainability agenda to the cost of funds.
- Acting for New Zealand Green Investment Fund during its preliminary development and establishment phase.
- Supported as New Zealand transaction counsel on the issue of $125m Kauri green bonds by World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) – New Zealand’s first ever green bond deal.
- Helping IFC on its US$152m green forest bond, a first-of-its-kind fixed income product linked to carbon credits (Verified Carbon Units) generated from Kenyan forestry projects.
- Advising Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development on the procurement, negotiation and documentation of pilot projects for the use of social bonds in New Zealand, an innovative tool for the delivery of social services where the government pays when results are achieved.
- Acting for Kāinga Ora on establishing its MTN programme and undertaking its inaugural issuances of $800m in aggregate across three tranches, with maturities ranging from five to 10 years. In early 2019 we assisted Kāinga Ora to expand the programme with a sustainability financing framework for the issue of social, green and sustainability bonds.
- Advising Foundation North on its investment into Community Finance's social housing impact investment warehouse programme.
Provide pragmatic and commercial advice and don't look at transactions in isolation.Chambers Asia Pacific 2020