New Zealand-based energy retailer and generator Contact Energy (ASX:CEN) reports it has refreshed its sustainably-linked program to further align with its strategy to build a ‘better’ New Zealand by leading the country’s decarbonisation.
The company says the new facility will support its previously signalled investment program. Contact states it is focused on its Contact26 strategy to grow demand for renewable electricity, develop new and flexible energy generation, decarbonise its portfolio, and create ‘outstanding’ customer experiences.
It also notes the Contact26 strategy is underpinned by a commitment to ‘strong’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.
“We are well on track, and highly committed, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our leadership position in sustainability performance”
Contact Energy Corporate Treasurer Will Thomson says: “We are well on track, and highly committed, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our leadership position in sustainability performance, and our new renewable generation capacity will enable our customers to decarbonise.
To be able to access the financial benefits under this arrangement, we’ll need to beat our current SBTi carbon reduction targets, increase renewables generation beyond what has already been announced, and continue to be a leader in broad-based sustainability performance, as evidenced by sustained inclusion in the Dow Jone Sustainability Asia Pacific Index (DJSI).
In doing so, we would drive even better ESG outcomes than what we’ve already committed to do.”
Contact reports earlier this month, the company joined the DJSI, which is considered the world’s most ‘prestigious’ global benchmark for corporate sustainability. Contact was the only new inclusion on the DJSI, and the second ‘highest’ ranked company from New Zealand.
The company reports ANZ New Zealand and Westpac New Zealand were Joint Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners, with Westpac engaged as Sole Sustainability Coordinator.
Westpac New Zealand Head of Sustainable Finance Joanna Silver says Contact’s leadership and continual efforts to drive meaningful change in emissions, renewable energy and ESG performance.
“Contact has been a leader in the sustainable finance market, since establishing its green borrowing program in 2017. Very few companies in New Zealand have made a commitment to a 1.5 degree emission reduction trajectory.
We are proud to be able to partner with our customers and support them to align their financing with climate change action and broader sustainability activities.”
As part of the agreement, Contact states Ernst Young provided assurance services on the Sustainability-Linked Loan targets in alignment with the recommendations of the Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles (March 2022).
Contact Energy is one of New Zealand’s largest energy retailers and generators. The company has generated 8.3 terrawatt hours of electricity from hydro, geothermal and gas in the last financial year. The company has over 550,000 customers with electricity, gas, and broadband connections.