Commonwealth Bank has helped H.R.L. Morrison & Co. arrange a NZ$180 million sustainability loan for a public-private partnership (PPP) that manages five schools in New Zealand. It is the first sustainability loan for school facilities in New Zealand and recognises the project for its social and environmental credentials.

The NZ Schools III PPP was established in 2017 with the Ministry of Education in New Zealand, to design, finance, construct and maintain, for 25 years following construction, three primary schools and two high schools across Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch. The NZ Schools III PPP refinanced its initial loan, which reached maturity, with the sustainability loan.

‘Sustainability loan’ labels apply to projects that meet criteria around delivering improved environmental and social outcomes. The NZ Schools III PPP’s sustainability loan was accredited on project-specific factors including building energy efficiency, waste management, green building standards, water management and social features such as high quality, inclusive learning environments for students, access to local residents for community use, and dedicated satellite classrooms for students with disabilities. Third-party opinion and verification was provided by specialist certification body, DNV.

Jon Collinge, Sustainability Director at Morrison & Co, said the sustainability loan will support the NZ schools to meet the PPP Fund's sustainability  goals.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the sustainability performance of the assets we manage on behalf of our clients. We see the independent accreditation of this sustainability loan as an important benchmark for future social infrastructure projects. Our thanks to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for their help in designing this loan, and enabling us to keep delivering better outcomes for our schools portfolio.”

Charles Davis, Managing Director of Sustainable Finance at Commonwealth Bank, CBA is delighted to bring another first to the market in supporting Morrison & Co with this sustainability loan in New Zealand’s school sector.

“Sustainable public infrastructure, like these five schools in New Zealand, helps drive better outcomes for both the environment and the communities they serve, and spotlights the importance of sustainability for future generations,” Mr Davis said.

Commonwealth Bank acted as sole sustainability coordinator and co-lender on the transaction.