Ford Ties Debt Cost to ESG Goals Under $15.5 Billion Sustainability-Linked Credit Lines
Automotive giant Ford announced that it has included sustainability-linked features in its newly extended $15.5 billion credit lines, tying the cost of the facilities to a series of the company’s ESG goals, in a first for North American automakers.
The new credit lines include a five-year, $10.1 billion facility maturing in September 2026, a three-year, $3.4 billion facility and a three-year, $2.0 billion supplemental facility, both maturing in September 2024.
Under the new terms of the credit lines, the cost of the facilities may increase or decrease based on Ford’s performance against defined annual ESG targets. These include goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the company’s manufacturing plants, increasing the use of renewable electricity consumed in Ford’s global manufacturing plants in line with the company’s target to reach 100% renewables by 2035, and lowering Ford of Europe’s CO2 tailpipe emissions per passenger vehicle.
Ford has recently announced a series of sustainability goals, including 2035 commitments to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions from operations 76% from 2017, and Scope 3 GHGs from use of the company’s products 50% from 2019, as well as achieving an all-electric passenger vehicle fleet in Europe by 2030, with an interim target of 100% zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2026. Earlier this week, the company announced plans for a multi-billion dollar investment to significantly expand its electric vehicle and battery production capacity in North America, including the construction of a carbon neutral, zero waste to landfill assembly plant.
Ford stated that it partnered with Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank to lead development of the sustainability-linked facilities, with JPMorgan Chase Bank serving as the administrative agent and lead bookrunner, and a bank group including Black-, Hispanic-, women- and military veteran-owned financial institutions.
Ford’s Treasurer Dave Webb said:
“Ford people recognize that what’s good for the planet is good for business. We’re all accountable for creating a constantly safer and cleaner organization that sets an example for sustainability.”