Leuven-based brewer AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, has signed up for a so-called green credit worth $10.1 billion (€8.3bn), the biggest ever undertaken by a listed company in the sector.
The credit, officially known as a Sustainability Linked Loan Revolving Credit Facility (SLL RCF) is linked to four main areas of the company’s business: continuing to improve water efficiency in breweries globally; increasing recycled PET [plastic] content in PET primary packaging; sourcing purchased electricity from renewable sources to reach a target of 100% renewables; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 25%.
The $10.1 billion is only stimulus investment, and is intended to help spur more new investment in the four areas and elsewhere.
“We are excited by the further integration of sustainable finance principles into the capital markets and welcome the opportunity to embed these practices deeper into both our finance organisation and the broader company,” said chief finance officer Fernando Tennenbaum in a statement.
“Our business is closely tied to the natural environment, and it is imperative that we continue to strengthen our leadership in addressing the increasing threats of climate change. Our business and our communities depend on it.”
The new facility is provided by a consortium of 26 leading global financial institutions, with ING and Santander acting as coordinators.
“This major sustainability-linked loan is an important milestone for both AB InBev and the beverage sector as a whole,” said Steven van Rijswijk, CEO of ING.
“AB InBev has demonstrated a clear ambition level by incorporating a broad set of material sustainability targets into this core lending facility. I’m proud that ING is supporting AB InBev toward their goals with this sustainable financing structure and at the same time implementing our strategy to help our clients to address climate risks and steer towards a circular economy.”