Midlands giant Platform has raised £250m through its first sustainability-labelled bond, off the back of its £1bn Euro Medium-Term Note (EMTN) programme.
The 46,000-home landlord secured the 20-year bond priced at a spread over gilts of 87 basis points, giving an all-in cost of 1.926 per cent. Nearly 50 investors participated, Platform said.
The bond follows the launch of the provider’s first sustainable finance framework at the end of August. It sees it commit to spending the proceeds on projects aligned with sustainability principles outlined by the International Capital Markets Association and Loan Market Association.
Within this, Platform plans to build new homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least ‘B’, while “almost all” developments will be classed as “affordable” housing, the group said.
The proceeds will also be spent on improving existing homes and boosting the sustainability of the group’s operations, it said.
The group is aiming to bring all its estate up to an EPC rating of at least ’C’ by 2028, which is two years ahead of the government’s target for the sector.
Earlier this year, Platform joined a number of its sector peers in launching an EMTN programme, allowing providers to access capital markets at speed. A growing number of housing associations are also agreeing finance linked to sustainability as investors become increasingly hungry for ESG-related opportunities.
Elizabeth Froude, chief executive at Platform, said: “We can now formally link our funding to the excellent projects we invest in, which help to make significant social and environmental improvements to the communities in which we operate, as we push ahead with our ambitious development and decarbonisation strategies.”
Last month, the group reported a slight drop in annual surplus and incurred a near-£6m writedown on the value of some of its offices.
Platform, which formed in 2018 from a merger of Fortis Living and Waterloo Housing Group, plans to grow its stock by 12,000 new homes over the next five years.