Wellington Airport on New Zealand’s North Island has converted $100m of existing bank facilities into sustainability-linked loans (SLLs).

The conversion to sustainability-linked lending means that Wellington Airport’s lending will be charged a lower interest cost and line fee for achieving its sustainability goals, and a higher rate if those goals are not met.

“This is about putting further weight behind our sustainability commitments,” said Wellington Airport chief financial officer Martin Harrington.

“Wellington Airport has had Kaitiakitanga [a New Zealand Māori term for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land] sustainability goals in place for some time, and this further enhances our commitment to these goals. Reaching these ambitious targets will be a win-win for the planet and our bottom line.”

The SLLs have been executed with Wellington Airport’s entire banking group – ANZ, BNZ, MUFG and China Construction Bank, with ANZ acting as sustainability coordinator.

“With the support of our banking group, Wellington Airport has achieved sustainability-linked lending facilities that are customised for the sustainability challenges and opportunities in our industry and aligned with international best practice,” said Harrington.

The four main sustainability target areas for Wellington Airport are: addressing greenhouse gas emissions that the airport is directly responsible for (scope 1 and 2), Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) validation of reduction targets and public reporting of scope 3 emissions; supporting and enabling low-emission commercial flights at Wellington Airport through electric, hybrid and/or sustainable aviation fuelled aircraft; progressing through the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme; and reducing the level of waste ending up in landfills from the airport’s operations.

The sustainability targets were externally reviewed by Ernst & Young and align with the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association’s Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles (updated February 2023). Wellington Airport’s performance in meeting the sustainability targets will also be independently verified.

Image: Wellington Airport