Commonwealth Bank has recently served as Joint Sustainability Coordinator on a $2.2 billion sustainability loan for Celsus, the consortium responsible for designing, financing, constructing and operating non-clinical services at The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).

Celsus’ sustainability loan breaks new ground for the global sustainable finance market on a number of fronts:

  1. First sustainability loan in Australia
  2. First sustainability loan for the global healthcare sector
  3. Largest healthcare ESG-labelled loan in Asia Pacific
  4. Largest project finance ESG-labelled loan in Australia

A sustainability loan is a type of finance overlay that recognises a project or asset that achieves a combination of positive environmental and social outcomes. 

Celsus’ refinancing achieved sustainability loan status because the Royal Adelaide Hospital met the eligibility requirements of the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles and Social Loan Principles.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital, commissioned in 2017, is one of the most advanced hospitals in Australia and the first large-scale hospital complex in the country to achieve a 4 Star Green Star – Healthcare ‘As Built’ rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The RAH admits around 85,000 inpatients and around 400,000 outpatients a year, providing critical access to healthcare for South Australians. It is also SA’s largest accredited teaching hospital and the state’s largest hospital delivering essential complex medical care. 

“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. We are incredibly proud to support Celsus in cementing their commitment to driving beneficial environmental and social outcomes for their business and for the many South Australians the Royal Adelaide Hospital serves and cares for each year,” said Andrew Hinchliff, Group Executive Institutional Banking & Markets at Commonwealth Bank. 

“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,” Mr Hinchliff said. “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.”

Celsus Chief Executive Officer, Di Mantell, said the Royal Adelaide Hospital was designed and constructed to minimise the impact on the environment.  

“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,” she said.  

“High efficiency water fittings have been incorporated and water is captured and recycled throughout the facility, while an onsite cogeneration system provides heating and domestic hot water to the building.” 

She added that the sustainable loan was part of Celsus’ and its investors’ commitment to South Australia, as well as environmental and sustainable practices.

“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,” Ms Mantell said.  

Image provided by Celsus