Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Sustainability-linked loan of the year - corporate (EMEA): Statnett

Statnett deployed a combination of a 'use-of-proceeds' and sustainability-linked structures in its €720 million ($770 million) loan linked to targets to reduce emissions of a potent greenhouse gas with warming potential about 24,000 times greater than carbon dioxide.

Statnett, which owns and operates Norway's electricity transmission grid, worked with NatWest to structure the deal which links financing terms to reductions of sulphur hexafluoride emissions and cutting the number of serious incidents at its sites.

It said these were chosen as they were aligned with the company's 'double materiality' approach to determining its biggest potential impacts on society and environment, as well as of these aspects on its business, as well as for contractors and subcontractors.

Sulphur hexafluoride exists in relatively minor concentrations in the atmosphere but is used in high-voltage switchgears within the electric power grid.

It is often a major source of power companies' Scope 1 emissions and tends to increase alongside energy consumption and network buildouts for energy transition.

Meanwhile, the second target of reducing 'serious incident frequency' is meaningful in an industry where electrical safety and working at height are key concerns.

"NatWest and Statnett were aligned on the importance of focussing on both environmental as well as social outcomes, to align with Statnett's refreshed strategy and incentivise balanced impact," the company said.

One Sustainable Debt Awards judge praised the loan for its "innovative KPIs supporting transition".