CBA backs NZ’s first sustainability loan for school facilities

  • By Zilla Efrat

Commonwealth Bank has helped Morrison & Co arrange the first sustainability loan for school facilities in New Zealand.

The NZ$180 million sustainability loan is for the NZ Schools III Public-Private Partnership (PPP), which was established in 2017 with the Ministry of Education in New Zealand.

It manages three primary schools and two high schools across Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch.

The PPP was launched to design finance, construct and maintain, for 25 years following construction. It has now refinanced its initial loan, which reached maturity, with the sustainability loan.

“Sustainability loan” labels apply to projects that meet criteria around delivering improved environmental and social outcomes.

CBA says the NZ Schools III PPP’s sustainability loan was accredited on project-specific factors including building energy efficiency, waste management, green building standards, water management and social features such as high quality, inclusive learning environments for students, access to residents for community use, and dedicated satellite classrooms for students with disabilities. Third-party opinion and verification were provided by the specialist certification body, DNV.

Jon Collinge, sustainability director at Morrison & Co, says the sustainability loan will support the NZ schools to meet the PPP fund's sustainability goals.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the sustainability performance of the assets we manage on behalf of our clients.

“We see the independent accreditation of this sustainability loan as an important benchmark for future social infrastructure projects.”