• The transaction, issued as an import letter of credit, was used to purchase photovoltaic modules to supply a solar farm in Mexico. This is the first green sustainability rating issued for this type of financial instrument.
• CaixaBank has been appointed as the Sustainability Agent for one of the Acciona Group's main corporate operations in collaboration with 21 other international companies.
• These operations fall under the framework of CaixaBank's environmental strategy to promote sustainable financial instruments that contribute to the United Nations SDGs.
A documentary letter of credit issued by CaixaBank to Acciona Energía has been certified as the first Green Letter of Credit in the European market. The 129 million dollar transaction was audited by a consultancy firm specialising in sustainability, which awarded the financial instrument the highest rating for its positive contribution to sustainable development and climate change mitigation. It is the first green sustainability rating issued for this type of financial instrument.
The letter of credit issued by CaixaBank to Acciona Energía was used to purchase photovoltaic modules to supply a solar farm installed and operated by Acciona in Puerto Libertad on the Mexican pacific coast. Every year, the solar farm will produce the equivalent amount of electricity consumed by 285,000 Mexican homes and will prevent the release of more than 460,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The transaction was organised and carried out by CaixaBank's Corporate Banking division: “This transaction helps CaixaBank to strengthen its Trade Division in Spain in line with the sustainability values outlined in its Corporate Social Responsibility Plan”, explained Iñaki Badiola, Executive Director of Corporate Institutional Banking and International Banking, before also emphasising CaixaBank's leading role in structuring and financing renewable energy transactions.
The assessment performed by the specialised consultancy firm focused on specific elements of the project (e.g., supplier selection processes, the impact on the local energy balance, and the materials used) and the criteria used by the financial institution to assess and perform the transaction.
In compliance with its Environmental Strategy and Climate Change Statement, CaixaBank strives to perform the same leading role in sustainable finance as it already holds for the different financial services it provides across all customer segments. “Green finance is here to stay. It is not simply a matter of proposing good financial structures for renewable energy production business models. It is about doing this consistently so that the entire project is sustainable from start to finish”, claimed Badiola.
With this award, Acciona enters the Mexican photovoltaic sector, a leading country in the wind energy sector (installed capacity of 858 MW for itself or third parties, equating to 22% of the country's operating power at the end of 2016). The contruction of the Puerto Libertad photovoltaic solar project will be carried out six kilometres to the northwest of the town of the same name, in the state of Sonora. Acciona Energía will build the facility for the AT Solar consortium, in which Acciona Energía holds 50% of shares in conjunction with the Biofields Group, which has 3,800 hectares of land set aside for renewable energy projects in Puerto Libertad.
CaixaBank, sustainability agent
The commitment of the Acciona Group and the CaixaBank Group to comply with the sustainability criteria in their operations is demonstrated by CaixaBank's recent appointment as the sustainability agent in one of the Acciona Group's main corporate financing lines.
On 6 June, Acciona and 21 international financial institutions renewed the 1.3 billion euro syndicated financing agreement signed initially in May 2018, aiming to include specific milestones linked to the ESG rating held by the company at any moment in time, among other objectives.
Alliances and initiatives for the sustainability of the planet
CaixaBank is one of the leading financial institutions in the fight against climate change on a global level. It is the first bank in the Ibex 35 to completely neutralise its calculated carbon footprint, including the company's indirect emissions. The organisation CDP has included CaixaBank in the index of global leaders in the struggle against climate change, for the fifth consecutive year.
Last year, CaixaBank allocated 1.5 billion USD to green loans for environmentally friendly initiatives. In addition, CaixaBank collaborates with the European Investment Bank to finance projects aimed at combating climate change. With this type of financing, CaixaBank contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals, placing special emphasis on SDG 13: Climate Action.
Since 2007, it is part of the group of financial institutions associated with the Equator Principles to guarantee that the projects to which it provides funding and consultancy are carried out in a socially responsible way. In addition, since 2016 it has been on the board of directors of the Spanish Green Growth Group, which fosters economic growth linked to a low-carbon economy.
CaixaBank has also joined the United Nations Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which has three main goals: commitment to sustainable development, sustainability management and public awareness. Furthermore, the company is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), a global index that assesses the behaviour of companies according to social, environmental and corporate governance criteria.