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Sustainability-Linked Loans: Financing the Green Transition

This practice note provides an overview of sustainability-linked loans (SLL). Sustainability-themed debt instruments represent one response of the financial community to the need to channel capital towards facilitating a carbon transition.  A Lexis Practice Advisor Practice Note by Amara Gossin, Barclays and Robert Lewis, Sidley Austin

The Rise of Sustainability Linked Loans

ESG and sustainability are two buzzwords that crop up more and more in the financial markets – the loan market included. According to Bloomberg, $97 billion in green loans and sustainability linked loans have come to the global loan market in the first three quarters of 2019. Of that activity, more than $55 billion in volume represents sustainability linked loans.

The Rise of Sustainability Linked Loans

The Rise of Sustainability Linked Loans to be presented on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 by Amara Gossin, VP – Legal, US Corporate Banking at Barclays, Robert Lewis, Partner at Sidley Austin and Tess Virmani, Associate General Counsel & SVP, Public Policy at The LSTA.

What is ESG-Linked Lending and Why Do We Care?

That is the question answered by the sustainable finance panel at the 25th Annual Refinitiv LPC Loan Conference. Moderated by Maria Dikeos (Refinitiv LPC), the panel explored the recent growth of sustainability-linked loans (or ESG loans) in the U.S. Panelists included Sean Colvin (Louis Dreyfus), Gary Herzog (Credit Agricole), Carolyn Kee (Citiggroup), Claire O’Connor (Barclays Capital), Cara Younger (BBVA) and Tess Virmani (LSTA). The speakers outlined the benefits that these loans can have for the right borrower and also flagged some of the important considerations to be mindful of in structuring these loans.

Sustainable Finance is Gaining Traction Globally

The first half of 2019 has seen global sustainable finance continue to flourish. Refinitiv LPC has recorded nearly $39 billion of global green and sustainability linked loan (SLL) volume through May – a 60% increase over the same time last year. In Refinitiv LPC’s “Loanly Planet” publication that volume is broken down regionally. EMEA continues to be the regional leader in terms of issuance with 70% of the global volume, or $27 billion. However, the biggest increase in regional volume has been in the Americas. With more than $7.3 billion in green loan and SLL volume through May 2019 on the books, that seven-fold increase is evidence that sustainable finance is gaining traction on this side of the pond.

Sustainability Linked Loans Published

(updated March 25, 2019) – Today, the LSTA, together with the Loan Market Association (LMA) and Asia Pacific Loan Market Association (APLMA), published Sustainability Linked Loan Principles. This voluntary framework represents the next step in collaborating to develop global standards for sustainable lending.

Sustainability Linked Loan Principles (SLLP)

Sustainability linked loans aim to facilitate and support environmentally and socially sustainable economic activity and growth. The Sustainability Linked Loan Principles (SLLP) have been developed by an experienced working party, consisting of representatives from leading financial institutions active in the global syndicated loan markets.

Become a Member

Membership in the LSTA offers numerous benefits and opportunities. Chief among them is the opportunity to participate in the decision making process that ultimately establishes loan market standards, develops market practices, and influences the market’s direction.

View a list of all members.

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