Wates

Development and property services company secures sustainability-linked loan to further ESG ambitions.

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Read time: 2 mins      Added: 26/04/2022

Wates Group, one of the UK’s largest family-owned built environment, residential development and property services companies, has secured a £90m sustainability-linked loan from a three-bank syndicate led by Lloyds Bank. The three-year facility is believed to be the second largest sustainability-linked loan provided in the sector.

Wates already employs around 3,800 people across its divisions. In 2020, it set out its ambitious strategy to eliminate waste and be carbon neutral from its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025, alongside enhancing the natural environment of the communities it operates in.

Wates’ three KPIs

As the sole ESG Coordinator, we worked with Wates set three ambitious KPIs to achieve margin discounts on its funding.

  1. The first KPI is that 35% of Wates’ top 200 suppliers have Science Based Target Initiative approved targets in place by December 2024. This is linked to the company’s Scope 3 emissions. These currently make up around 98% of its greenhouse gas emissions.

  2. Wates’ second KPI is to create nearly £370m of social value over the next three years. To achieve this objective, it will create jobs, support growth and promote healthier lifestyles in the communities it operates in.

  3. Finally, the business will aim to build on its existing diversity and inclusion strategy by increasing the number of women in senior leadership positions. Earlier this month, Wates announced a new programme that aims to bring 125 women into the industry by 2025.

Philip Wainwright, chief financial officer at Wates Group, said: “Sustainability is a key element of our Guiding Framework – that’s why we launched our 2025 sustainability goals in 2020.

“We are continually reviewing how we can embed sustainability into what we do and we’re pleased that we have been able to identify and agree on three additional metrics with our lenders that will drive sustainability outcomes and demonstrate our commitment around Scope 3, social value and diversity.

“We already have a close working relationship with Lloyds Bank through the Wates Innovation Network and it’s encouraging to not only have the support of three banks, but also to see them being prepared to increase their level of exposure, which is a real vote of confidence in our ability to meet these KPIs.”

Max Jones, relationship director in Lloyds Bank’s construction and infrastructure team, said: “Now’s not the time for firms within the built environment to rest on their laurels when it comes to creating a greener, more welcoming industry. Wates have long been a leader for sustainability in the industry – we’re looking forward to helping them reinforce and build upon that position.” 

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