SUSTAINABILITY -LINKED LOAN S FIRST OF KIND FOR AUSTRALIAN AIRPORT
Ac complished airport operator Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) has secured financing for the Gold Coast Airport
redevelopment, with $100 million of the funds in the form of sustainability -linked loans.
The loans from Commonwealth Bank and Westpac – based on carbon accreditation through the Airports Council
International program and a reduction in carbon emissions – are the first of their kind to be taken out by an
QAL CFO Amelia Evans said the business was committed to strengthen ing its performance in the area of
Environment, Social and Governance (ESG ) – and obtaining sustainability -linked loans were another step towards
“ESG is an area QAL is increasingly focused on, and we have already delivered several sustainability projects across
our airports in the past few years,” she said.
“Some of these projects include reducing greenhouse gas emissions at Gold Coast Airport by replacing lighting with
LED, upgrading air -conditioning units and replacing energy efficient drive motors with in our baggage handling
“At our other ports, we installed 820 solar panels on car park shade structures at Mount Isa Airport, reduced
electricity consumption by 17 per cent with a series of building management system upgrades in Townsville, and
solar power roof installations have offset about 95 per cent of Longreach air port’s daytime electricity usage.”
The Gold Coast Airport redevelopment is underway, with work starting this month on the foundations for the
southern terminal expansion. The mult i-year project, designed to improve the customer experience and address
current and future capacity issues, will see the terminal floor area doubled.
Ms Evans said the level of development activity underway at Gold Coast Airport precinct right now was
“Construction of our first airport hotel is progressing well, and once we have completed the southern terminal
expansion, we will start work on the existing terminal refurbishment,” she said.
Ms Evans said several key sustainability initiatives were planned for the southern terminal expansion, including
lighting controls and energy efficient chiller s.
Recognis ing the continued support of QAL’s financiers, Ms Evans said: “B y working in partnership with our financiers.
we can achieve a number of mutual benefits, such as th ese unique sustainability -linked loan s”.
Andrew Hinchliff, Commonwealth Bank Group Executive of Institutional Banking and Markets said $75 million of
CBA’s debt funding (for QAL) was in the form of a Sustainability -Linked Loan (SLL), the largest bilateral SLL in
“The world is changing rapidly and it’s imperative that we are always looking for innovative solutions that help our
clients navigate this change,” he said.
“Commonwealth Bank’s financing deal is the first in Australia to be directly linked to a reduction in carbon emissions.
with the potential for a margin reduction provided the airport meets targets linked to a reduction in carbon
emissions intensity. This is a landmark transaction for QAL and for Commonwealt h Bank, as we continue to support
our customers’ efforts to reduce their carbon emissions.”
Smart organisations are taking a ‘sooner not later’ approach to sustainability to reap tangible financial rewards.
according to Westpac’s General Manager Corporate and Institutional Banking, Didier Van Not.
“Westpac is helping finance the transition to support a lower carbon economy. A sustainability -linked loan is great
way to do th is because it rewards corporate borrowers if they meet pre -determined sustainabilit y targets,” he said.
“QAL has taken a leading role in demonstrating how finance can be structured to take advantage of these discounts
while making a difference to its ESG performance.”
QAL operates the Gold Coast, Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach airpo rts, welcom ing about 8.5 million passengers
last year, with that figure set to more than double over the next two decades.