Silver Fern Farms inks milestone sustainability-linked transaction

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today congratulates Silver Fern Farms on its $320 million, three-year Sustainability-Linked Working Capital Facility – the largest sustainability-linked transaction in New Zealand’s primary sector that represents global best practice with a comprehensive range of environmental and social targets.

BNZ, as Joint Sustainability Coordinator alongside ANZ and Rabobank, helped Silver Fern Farms tie its working capital to ambitious environmental and social targets with incentives for achievement, but also penalties if those targets are not met.

BNZ GM Sustainable Finance, Louise Tong, says, “We’re delighted to work with Silver Fern Farms to align its capital to making a meaningful difference not only in their industry, but for New Zealand.

“This Sustainability-Linked Facility is a significant commitment by Silver Fern Farms to a science-aligned emissions trajectory, reducing waste and water use, and increasing sustainability in its supply chain.

“The targets agreed will make a real difference on-farm and improve environmental impacts across the value chain. Silver Fern Farms is leading change in the primary sector that will help deliver a more sustainable food industry now and into the future,” she says.

As part of the Sustainability-Linked Facility, Silver Fern Farms will receive financial incentives as it delivers against pre-agreed and pre-defined sustainability targets including:

  • Adoption of the comprehensive New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme Plus (NZFAP+) by Silver Fern Farms suppliers
  • Reduction of processing emissions in line with the company’s Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) target of 42% Scope 1 and Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction by 2030 from 2020 baseline year
  • Reduction of total waste to landfill (including organic waste) from processing sites
  • Reduction of water used at processing sites
  • Enhanced environmental monitoring and reporting.

BNZ Institutional Bank Client Director, Paul Bullivant says, “We’re delighted to support Silver Fern Farms to transition to a low carbon economy.  They have clear ambitions to deliver environmental and social improvements for the good of the industry and country.

“At BNZ we’re focused on supporting the primary sector to transition to a low emissions economy. We have a market leading position in sustainable lending to New Zealand’s food producers that includes the $50m Southern Pastures Sustainability Linked Loan and our recently launched BNZ Agribusiness SLL product available to all New Zealand’s farmers,” he says.

Silver Fern Farms Chief Sustainability & Risk Officer, Kate Beddoe, says, “Aligning our sustainability ambition with financing demonstrates how serious we are about leading change not only in the red meat industry, but for Aotearoa more broadly. We’re backing our farmers to lead the world in nature positive food production; that’s a pretty exciting space to be operating in.”

Silver Fern Farms Sustainability-Linked financing facility is customised for the sustainability challenges, and opportunities, in the red meat industry and aligns with international best practice.