Following the publication of its Sustainable Finance Framework in February 2023, a housing association has announced that it has agreed a new £100m credit facility with ABN AMRO. The facility is Orbit’s first sustainability-linked loan (SLL) where the margin is linked to Orbit achieving certain sustainability Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

The first KPI measures Orbit’s reduction in direct greenhouse gas emissions from owned or controlled sources (scope 1 emissions) and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from energy purchased for use in Orbit’s own operations (scope 2 emissions). The second KPI measures the social value that Orbit creates through its various social programmes, such as social value delivered by its Thriving Communities team, Tenancy Sustainment and Services team, its Independent Living team and by its supply chain. The Social Value will be calculated using the HACT and the national TOMs – Themes, Outcomes and Measures – methodology.

Orbit established its Net Zero Carbon Roadmap in 2021 and Biodiversity Approach, which aligns with the framework of the UN Convention on Biology Diversity, in 2022. Last year Orbit also achieved ISO14001:2015 certification for its environmental management system by the British Standards Institute (BSI),and announced that it had successfully reduced its operational carbon third (33%) since it established a baseline in 2018.

Jonathan Wallbank, interim group chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have agreed this new facility with ABN AMRO, which is also our first sustainability-linked facility. Orbit is firmly committed to enhance the sustainability of its operations and communities, and ABN AMRO are an ideal partner to support us to achieve these objectives by granting sustainability-linked financing.

“The facility will enable us to continue building much needed affordable homes and provide safe homes for our customers, whilst delivering social value for our communities.”

Rutilio Merien, head of UK coverage real estate at ABN AMRO, said: “We are delighted to support Orbit with its inaugural SLL and to extend our support to the UK social housing sector. Orbit’s strong credit and regulatory ratings, coupled with its sustainability ambitions make it a perfect fit for ABN AMRO as we look to further expand in the UK and deliver on our own ESG strategy.”