Case studies

QIC shopping centres use world-first green bond to reduce emissions, improve sustainability

QIC Global Real Estate’s QSCF has become the world’s first retail property landlord to issue a Climate Bonds Initiative certified green bond which will help it improve the energy efficiency and reduce the emissions of three of its major shopping centres.

The bond will help further develop a program of work begun in 2017 when the CEFC committed up to $200 million in senior debt finance to deliver energy efficiency improvements in QIC’s Shopping Centre Fund (QSCF) portfolio of 14 assets nationwide.

QSCF is one of the largest shopping centre owners in Australia and holds some of the nation’s premier retail assets, including super-regional and major-regional shopping centres.

By issuing the $300 million green bond, QSCF has diversified its sources of funding to help drive further sustainability initiatives across Toowoomba’s Grand Central shopping centre, Robina at the Gold Coast and Eastland Shopping Centre in Melbourne.

The bond, which has been certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative under the Low Carbon Buildings – Property upgrade sector criteria, will support a range of energy efficiency improvements including new building managements systems, LED lighting, energy efficient air conditioning systems and potential rooftop solar program.

Following the upgrade program, the three shopping centres are expected to reduce their carbon emissions by more than 35 per cent in the next three years.

As part of its broader commitment to support Australia’s emerging green bond market, the CEFC was a cornerstone investor in the QSCF green bond and secured a $30 million tranche of the issuance.

The CEFC will continue to work closely with QSCF to monitor and report the sustainability improvements made across its portfolio.

The QSCF green bond follows a move earlier in 2019 by Woolworths Group which issued the world’s first green bond by a supermarket business to fund its sustainability strategy. The CEFC invested $30 million in the Woolworths bond.