ART achieves top rank as 'Global Sector Leader' in GRESB. CLI and a-iTrust secure two new sustainability-linked loans.
Online PR News – 15-October-2021 – Singapore – CapitaLand Group (CapitaLand) has retained top positions as the ‘Global, Regional and Asia Sector Leader’ in the 2021 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) rankings for its exceptional Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) management and performance. CapitaLand retained the highest rating of 5 stars and is the only real estate company in Singapore to win ‘Global Sector Leader’ in the ‘Diversified – Listed’ category four times. It is also the first real estate company in Singapore to be consistently ranked among the top five in Asia since 2011.
CapitaLand Investment’s (CLI)  real estate investment trusts (REITs) and business trusts have also been recognised as industry leaders in their respective categories. In its first participation of GRESB, Ascott Residence Trust (ART) was named ‘Global Sector Leader - Hotel’ and ranked top in the ‘Asia Pacific Hotel – Listed’ category. CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust (CICT) maintained the highest 5-star rating, which is at the top 20% globally of the benchmark. CapitaLand, CICT, Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas Reit), ART and CapitaLand China Trust (CLCT) were awarded an ‘A’ for public disclosure.
With CapitaLand’s ratings on GRESB 2021, it will obtain interest rate discounts from its existing sustainability-linked loans tied to its achievements in GRESB. CLI has just secured another sustainability-linked loan, its first from MUFG Bank, Ltd, Singapore branch, of S$400 million which is also pegged to CLI’s performance on GRESB. CLI’s India property trust, Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust) has also secured a S$150 million sustainability-linked loan from United Overseas Bank Limited. With these two latest sustainability-linked loans, CapitaLand and its listed REITs and business trusts have secured a total of S$7.1 billion through sustainable finance to date.
Ms Lynette Leong, CLI’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said: “CapitaLand’s consistent recognition by international indices such as GRESB cements CapitaLand’s position as a global sustainability leader in real estate. Sustainability is core to everything we do at CLI and we will continue to grow our business responsibly as we reinforce CLI as one of the leading listed real estate investment managers globally. The interest savings from our sustainability-linked loans is a tangible testament to our ESG performance and augments our Return on Sustainability metric. It also enables us to fund sustainability innovation initiatives, thereby multiplying the positive impact on the environment and communities where we operate. We will continue to work with our capital partners to roll out more sustainable financial products and services as we push the boundaries in achieving our 2030 Sustainability Master Plan’s ambitious targets.”
Mr Ruben Langbroek, Head of Asia Pacific at GRESB, said: “CapitaLand has been an early participant in the annual GRESB Assessment. We’d like to congratulate them with their ‘Global Sector Leader’ recognition in this year’s benchmark. CapitaLand’s ongoing commitment to further enhance its ESG performance is also demonstrated by this latest sustainability-linked loan based on its GRESB scores. These sustainable financing instruments are benefitting real estate companies with a strong ESG performance and provide important incentives for the industry to transition to a resilient, net-zero, and circular built environment – one that aligns people, planet and profit.”
The GRESB assessments are guided by what investors and the industry consider to be material issues in the sustainability performance of asset investments, and are aligned with international reporting frameworks, goals and emerging regulations. In 2021, more than 1,500 property companies, REITs, funds and developers participated in the real estate assessment.
CapitaLand’s track record in sustainable finance
Since 2018, CapitaLand and its listed REITs and business trusts have partnered with 12 financial institutions to secure sustainable financing instruments comprising sustainability-linked loans, green loans, green bonds and perpetual securities.
This year, CICT, Ascendas Reit, CLCT and a-iTrust secured sustainable finance of about S$1.6 billion, S$810 million, S$150 million and S$250 million respectively from various banks. ART obtained a S$50 million green loan from DBS Bank Ltd, making it the first hospitality trust in Singapore to secure a green loan.
Consistently recognised as a global sustainability leader by international indices
In addition to GRESB, CapitaLand has received numerous other recognitions for its sustainability leadership:
- Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index (nine consecutive years);
- Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (nine consecutive years);
- Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index (12 consecutive years. This makes CapitaLand the first and longest standing real estate company in Singapore to be listed on the index);
- FTSE4Good Index Series (eight consecutive years since 2014);
- MSCI ESG Leaders Index (CLI is listed on the index as of October 2021. CapitaLand was listed on the Index for eight consecutive years up to 2021);
 CapitaLand Investment, the real estate investment management business of CapitaLand Group, was listed on Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited on 20 September 2021.
 For more information on GRESB, see Annex.
Annex - About Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)
Established in 2009, GRESB is a leading ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure companies across the world. Participants were measured based on factors such as the company’s strategy and leadership; policies and processes; risk management; and stakeholder engagement approach. The assessment also covered the company’s ESG efforts in building development as well as asset portfolio performance in areas including energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste. For more information on GRESB 2021 results, please visit: GRESB.com