The Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) has issued AU$300m Climate Bond certified green bond for its QIC Shopping Centre Fund (QSCF) to drive further improvement to their environmental performance across its Australian retail portfolio.
With Australian shopping centres accounting for 36% of commercial building energy consumption, improvement to energy efficiency is imperative to reducing the load on the electricity grid.
QIC Global Real Estate’s (QIC GRE) QSCF is one of the largest shopping centre owners in Australia, with interests in retail assets across Australia valued at AU$15bn.
The $300m green bond will fund initiatives to enhance the environmental performance for three of the retail assets within QSCF’s portfolio: Toowoomba’s Grand Central, Robina Town Centre on the Gold Coast and Eastland in Melbourne.
The work is expected to reduce the centres’ greenhouse gas emissions intensity by more than 35 per cent in the next three years.
“Issuing a green bond is an important milestone for QSCF and the retail property sector globally, and is an endorsement of QIC GRE’s progress and ongoing focus on sustainability. For QIC GRE, delivering sustainability initiatives such as upgrades and the intelligent automation of centre plant and equipment, and installing LED lighting, generates strong commercial outcomes, as well as reducing our environmental footprint.” said Michael O’Brien, Managing Director of QIC GRE.
“The QSCF green bond was five times oversubscribed and attracted new investors with green and ESG investment mandates to the Fund from across Asia and Australia,” Mr O’Brien added.
“In an Australian retail property first, in 2017 the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) collaborated with QSCF via an AUD200 million senior debt facility which included a framework to undertake improvements in energy performance across QSCF’s shopping centre portfolio” said Michael Fattouh, Fund Manager of QSCF.
“Building on this collaboration, we are very pleased that the CEFC has also made a cornerstone investment of AU$30 million in the QSCF green bond.” he added.
“This green bond has been certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative under the Low Carbon Buildings – Property Upgrade sector criteria,” said Richard Lovell, CEFC Debt Market Lead.
“It is a great example of the benefits that can arise from working on transforming a corporate’s asset base energy efficiency.