CBA provides world’s first healthcare sustainability loan

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THE Commonwealth Bank has partnered up with Celsus on the country’s and the global healthcare sector’s first sustainability loan.

CBA worker as joint sustainability coordinator with the commercial operator of The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) , Celsus, providing the non-clinical operator with a $2.2 billion loan.

Celsus has received the loan as the consortium in charge of designing, financing, constructing and operating non-clinical services at hospital, with the loan recognising the projects achievement of positive both environmental and social outcomes.

Celsus’ refinancing met the eligibility requirements outlined by the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles and Social Loan Principles.

Not only is this the first sustainability loan in the country and the first for the global healthcare sector, it is also the largest healthcare ESG-labelled loan in the Asia Pacific region and the largest project finance ESG-labelled loan in Australia.

“Our lived experience throughout the pandemic has undoubtedly brought home for all Australians the importance of access to world-class healthcare, and the critical role it serves in Australia’s recovery,” said Andrew Hinchliff, group executive of institutional banking and markets at Commonwealth Bank.

The hospital is the first at its large scale to achieve a 4 Star Green Star Healthcare ‘As Built’ rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

“The combination of both green and social elements in a single sustainability loan shows that the same project can advance Australia toward a more sustainable economy and a more inclusive society and is a testament to the ambition and commitment of Celsus,” added Hinchliff.

The RAH also admits approximately 85,000 inpatients and 400,000 outpatients each year, providing South Australia with critical healthcare.

“This transaction’s unique combination of factors marks an important milestone in the development of both Australia’s and the world’s market for sustainable finance,” said Hinchliff.

The hospital also meets the criteria of positive social outcomes through its status as the state’s largest accredited teaching hospital and largest hospital that delivers essential complex medical care, while also being designed with the environment and sustainability as a priority.

“This site boasts a total of 3.8 hectares of landscaped environment. It includes more than 70 internal themed courtyards and sky gardens across the hospital’s nine levels with special features such as a Spinal Garden and Aboriginal Garden, creating a 1.6-hectare footprint of green space within the hospital,” said Di Mantell, CEO at Celsus.

The site also includes high efficiency water fittings, with water recycling throughout, with an onsite cogeneration system providing heating and hot water to the hospital.

“This innovative financing structure enables Celsus to deliver both financial and environmental benefits to its shareholders and the community.  We want to be a leader in the new world of sustainable finance,” concluded Mantell.

With designs released earlier this month, Adelaide is due for further activity for its hospital, as the $1.95 billion new Women’s and Children’s hospital is set to accommodate more than 20,000 additional patients per year.

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