Wheatley launches sustainable finance framework
Wheatley Group has launched its own Sustainable Finance Framework (SFF) that aligns its strategic sustainability priorities with its funding and financial strategy and allows the group to expand its funding base to help achieve its sustainability goals.
The first of its kind for Scotland’s social housing sector, the move is in response to an increasing focus from funders on the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) impact of their investments and their support for low-carbon, environmentally friendly businesses.
Wheatley already has a strong track record in sustainability and is continually improving the energy efficiency of its homes through investment work.
The group has developed the SFF with input from the NatWest Markets ESG advisory team. External accreditation for the framework has been published by Standard & Poors in its Second Party Opinion.
Wheatley said this accreditation highlights the SFF’s alignment to internationally recognised social bond and loan principles, green bond and loan principles and sustainable loan principles.
The group is confident its commitment to creating sustainable homes and the positive impact this can have on communities will attract investors supportive of the sustainability goals set out in the SFF, which align to UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Steven Henderson, Wheatley Group’s director of finance, said: “Wheatley is committed to creating ‘Greener Homes, Greener Lives’ across Scotland – and the new SFF framework will be integral to helping us deliver on these goals.
“Our communities are already benefiting from our sustainable investment programme - tackling fuel poverty, reducing the costs of running a home and creating jobs and training opportunities.
“This new framework will help us do even more to improve sustainability and deliver on our ambitious plans.”
Dr Arthur Krebbers, head of sustainable finance corporates at NatWest Markets, said: “We are delighted to have supported Wheatley in establishing its inaugural sustainable finance framework.
“The framework marks an important milestone for Wheatley’s sustainability journey and the Scottish sustainable finance market more broadly. It provides a transparent and robust avenue for investors to support Wheatley’s ESG projects and initiatives.”
Last month Link Group agreed an £80 million ESG-linked loan from Scottish Widows that was directly connected to its commitment to sustainability performance targets.