Commonwealth Bank served as sole Sustainability Coordinator and co-lender on a NZ$284 million sustainability loan for Morrison & Co’s NZ Schools II Public Private Partnership, which manages four schools in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown with around 5000 students enrolled.

The NZ Schools II PPP was established with the Ministry of Education in 2017 to design, finance, construct and maintain, for 25 years following construction, a schools portfolio of Rolleston College and Haeata (Aranui) Community Campus in Christchurch, Wakatipu High School in Queenstown and Ormiston Junior College in Auckland and expansion projects at Rolleston College and Wakatipu High School.

The new sustainability loan refinances debt facilities and also supports expansion of two of the schools. The loan’s sustainability label was accredited based on environmental factors including green buildings, energy efficiency, waste management, water management and access to clean transportation (cycle ways and pedestrian projects), as well as social factors such as access to essential services. The loan is aligned to the Asia-Pacific Loan Market Association’s (APLMA) Green and Social Loan Principles 2023.

The loan facilities have a 3-year term and are provided by Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and China Construction Bank.

Morrison & Co Executive Director of PIP Funds, Steven Proctor, said the new sustainability loan will finance the expansion at Rolleston College, which will increase student capacity by another 700 students, and re-finance the project’s existing debt facilities.

“Sustainability loans are supporting the schools to meet the environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals defined by Morrison & Co for Public Infrastructure Partners I, II, III and SE, the PPP funds which own the project.

“Morrison & Co believes that effective ESG integration can be value accretive.

“This was evidenced by our announcement in December that, following regulatory approvals being obtained, we will complete the sale of our operational PPP portfolio – including the NZ Schools II PPP - to International Public Partnerships (INPP), a listed infrastructure fund. Amber Infrastructure is the investment advisor to INPP.”

Charles Davis, Managing Director Sustainable Finance and ESG at CBA, said he welcomes Morrison & Co’s return to the sustainable finance market with its second sustainability loan in the New Zealand school sector.

“School facilities with better environmental attributes and stronger social factors can play an important role in supporting students to be at their best. CBA is delighted to support Morrison & Co’s investment in green, energy-efficient public infrastructure that will serve communities for decades to come.”

Christoph Vojc, Investment Director at Morrison & Co added, “The schools have been designed with sustainable outcomes as a key objective, targeting reductions in energy consumption and achieving a five-star rating under the GRESB Infrastructure Asset Assessment, a respected international ESG benchmark for infrastructure funds, companies and assets.  This is made possible by sustainable finance.”

Another sustainability loan secured by Morrison & Co’s associated PPP – the NZ Schools III PPP - won the Deal of the Year Award – Social Infrastructure – APAC at the IJGlobal Awards APAC 2022, which was announced last week in Singapore. CBA also served as sole sustainability coordinator and co-lender on this transaction.

Banner image: Ormiston Junior College (supplied)

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