As part of our growth strategy, joining economic performance and sustainable development, Air Liquide has announced its new objectives to ACT for a sustainable future. Air Liquide’s financial policy is part of its responsible and sustainable business model. In this context, Air Liquide decided to develop new sustainable financial instruments.
In line with its growth trajectory, and with performance and sustainability at the core of its strategy, Air Liquide published new ESG objectives on March 23, 2021 as part of ACT for a sustainable future program. Air Liquide has established this Sustainable Financing Framework (the “Framework”) to cover the following instruments to finance sustainable projects intended to have a clear benefit to the environment and society. This Framework is aligned with the Green Loan Principles 2020 and the Social Loan Principles 2021 overseen by the Loan Market Association (LMA) and with the Green Bond Principles 2018 (GBP), the Social Bond Principles 2020 (SBP) and the Sustainability Bond Guidelines 2018 (SBG) overseen by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA).
The Use of Proceeds of any Green, Social and Sustainability financing under this Framework will be subject to the following eligibility criteria, to be applied to new or existing projects. The financing of such projects is expected to create substantial environmental or social benefits by significantly reducing GHG emissions or improving the living conditions of target populations.
Are the Eligible Categories aligned with the EU Taxonomy and Green Bond Principles/Social Bond Principles?
Whenever possible we choose to align with the eligibility criteria of the European Taxonomy. However, the publication of this framework embarks activities which are not included in the EU Taxonomy. For example, our framework covers Air Gases which are contributing to GHG abatement and that are fully aligned with AL’s sustainable strategy.
How frequently will Air Liquide report? What type of information will the reporting include?
Air Liquide commits to publish annually a Sustainable Financing Report, which will provide an allocation report and an impact report. The allocation and the impact reporting will be provided until full allocation of proceeds, and thereafter in case of material changes. An external verification on these reports will be provided by an independent external auditor, and will be made public on the Air Liquide website.
Air Liquide has successfully launched its first green bond issue, by raising 500 million euros which will be dedicated to financing and refinancing the development of several sustainable projects, in particular in hydrogen, biogas and oxygen. This operation is in line with its first SRI-labeled bonds, which the Group had issued as early as 2012 to finance the expansion of its Home Healthcare business. This new bond issue will notably contribute to the financing of the ambitious sustainable projects the Group announced on March 23, 2021.
Proceeds from this issuance will allow Air Liquide to refinance its September 2021 bond maturities in advance and will secure sustainable financing to support the Group’s long term growth under very competitive conditions.
In December 2019, Air Liquide signed an amendment to its 2 billion euros syndicated credit line so as to include, from now on, a correlation scheme between its financial costs and three of its CSR targets regarding its carbon intensity, gender diversity and safety. An industrial player committed to sustainable development, Air Liquide testifies through this initiative its willingness to combine performance and responsibility.
An indexation mechanism will also link an increase or decrease of the financing cost and commissions paid to annually fixed targets for each criteria.
These environmental and societal performance criteria are:
The carbon intensity of the Group (direct and indirect kg CO2 emissions /€ Ebitda)
The proportion of women among engineers and managers