World First: Low Carbon Buildings Certification for QCSF shopping centres in Australia
Coming Up: Aus & NZ reports to reflect latest on green infrastructure & green markets
Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) inaugural green bond has tipped cumulative green issuance over to AUD15.1 (USD11.25bn) reinforcing Australia's position in the top three of Asia-Pacific nations behind China who dominated at end June 2019 with USD85.4bn of cumulative green issuance, with Japan in second place at USD12.9bn. Next closest in the region was South Korea with USD6.2bn.
The Climate Bonds Certified AUD300m deal from the Queensland Government's AUD85bn (USD60bn)* investment arm is world a first for the retail sector and will lead to a minimum 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity in three large retail centre assets within the QIC Shopping Centre Fund (QSCF) portfolio over the life of the bond.
In Australia shopping centres account for 36% of commercial building energy consumption.
With national emissions continuing to rise and slow progress on national climate and clean energy policies, improvements to emissions performance and energy efficiency in the built environment are vital to achieving Paris commitments and contributing to longer term low carbon transition.
In a QIC Statement Managing Director of Global Real Estate, Michael O’Brien said:
“Issuing a green bond is an important milestone for QSCF and the retail property sector globally and is an endorsement of QIC Global Real Estate’s progress and ongoing focus on sustainability.”
“The QSCF green bond was five times oversubscribed and attracted new investors with green and ESG investment mandates to the Fund from across Asia and Australia.”
NAB & CBA acted as arrangers, the Australian Financial Review also marked that the QIC bond was the seventh green/sustainable bond NAB has brought to market so far in 2019, and its 25th green, social and sustainability bond to date.
CEFC Leads Again as Cornerstone Investor
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) contributed AUD30mn as a cornerstone investor in the deal continuing its long-term leadership position and support for green finance in Australia. The CEFC has invested more than AUD500 millio n in 12 Certified climate bond issuances in just over seven years.
In a media statement CEFC Debt Market Lead, Richard Lovell, said the market would expect to see new types of green bonds issued by Australian corporates as they continue to increase their focus on sustainability and energy efficiency.
“This green bond has been Certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative under the Low Carbon Buildings – Property Upgrade sector criteria. It is a great example of the benefits that can arise from working on transforming a corporate’s asset base energy efficiency.”
Latest Low Carbon Building Certifications
The QIC bond is the latest in a string of Australian Certifications under the Low Carbon Buildings Criteria in 2019.
June saw an AUD880m Certified Green Loan from Brookfield Properties, in April Woolworths Group announced a world first with their AUD400m green bond for supermarkets and January saw Investa, already a multiple green bond issuer closing Australia’s first Certified Green Loan for AUD170m.
The latest commentary from industry events forecasts more green bonds to come.
Late August Launch for 2019 Australia and NZ Reports
The QIC issuance comes as Climate Bonds is preparing its Australia Green Infrastructure Investment Opportunities (GIIO) report for 2019 and annual Green Bond updates for both Australia and New Zealand markets.
The Climate Bonds GIIO report series are a first of their kind – an annual analysis to identify and explore national pipelines of investable, low carbon infrastructure projects.
The 2018 Report identified a pipeline of more than 400 low carbon infrastructure assets and projects across Australia and New Zealand suitable for green finance.
In 2019 we’ll be reviewing progress and outlining our recommendations for increased infrastructure investment through the 2020s that supports low carbon transition.
Want to Hear More? You’re Invited!
There are still a few places left for lucky local blog readers at our August report launch events.
Register soon as seats are limited.
Sydney Tuesday 27 August 2019
9:00 am – 12:15 pm AEST
Melbourne Thursday 29 August 2019
8:30 am – 11:30 am AEST
Auckland Friday 30 August 2019
8:30 am – 10:00 am NZST