European energy service provider ista announced today that it has signed a new ESG-linked syndicated loan in the amount of up to €1.85 billion (USD$2.2 billion) with an international consortium of banks. The interest rate on the facility will be in part linked to the company’s fulfillment of sustainability targets. The facility replaces a previous, non-ESG-linked credit line in a similar amount initiated in 2017.

Thomas Lemper, CFO of ista, said:

“Sustainability is part of ista’s DNA. Ten years ago, we were the first company in our branch of industry to publish a sustainability report. Now we are the first to adopt a sustainable financing structure. The new financing is a clear commitment to our long-term sustainability strategy. Therefore, we are delighted that a wide group of banks is supporting our path to a sustainable and climate-neutral future.”

The company stated that the signing of the new facility is intended to further strengthen its strategic orientation as a sustainable service and technology partner to the real estate industry. The sustainability metrics impacting the interest on the facility include the company’s CO2 emissions per employee and its further expansion of the digital service infrastructure, which should be as resource-efficient as possible. According to ista the sustainability KPIs will be audited by SGS-TÜV Saar GmbH.

Jan-Eric Meyer-Hubbert, Head of Corporate Controlling & Treasury, Finance at ista, said:

“A binding ESG element was very important to us right from the very beginning of the loan negotiations. The successful refinancing despite the coronavirus crisis shows the banks’ confidence in our corporate and sustainability strategy.”

ING Bank acted as lead ESG coordinator, developing the sustainable financing concept, implementing it together with UniCredit Bank AG and the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Group. ING Bank’s Dr Roland Mees said:

“With an ESG element in this order of magnitude ista is sending a clear signal with regard to its own sustainability goals. The business model and ista’s previous sustainability successes convinced us that the company is the ideal candidate for a financing structure linked to sustainability criteria.”