Singtel launches sustainability-linked bond framework

The Singtel Group has released its sustainability-linked bond framework. The operator reports that this framework outlines individual Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Sustainability Performance Targets (SPTs) for two different issuers, Singtel and its Australian unit Optus, and allows both to issue sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs) under a single framework.

Established as part of Singtel’s sustainable financing programme, Olives, this framework affirms the Group’s commitment to reach its net-zero emissions target by 2050.

The KPIs and SPTs outlined in the framework are core to the Singtel Group’s business and provide investors with the opportunity to be involved in the Group’s sustainability journey. This also provides transparency on how the Group intends to achieve its mid- to long-term sustainability performance.

Arthur Lang, Singtel Group Chief Financial Officer, said, “Sustainability is integral to the way we operate our business and we have doubled down on that as part of our strategic agenda to create sustainable, long-term value.”

He added: “As one of the leading telcos in Asia, it is critical that we step up and integrate sustainability with our financing strategy and this framework will allow us to take the lead in sustainable financing. We welcome investors who share our goals of having a positive impact on the environment and society.”

Under this framework, the Group may issue SLBs linked to the achievement of greenhouse gas reduction targets that were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

Specifically, the Group aims to cut absolute Scope 1 and 2 direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions across its operations in Singapore and Australia by 42 percent by 2030, from a 2015 baseline. If the targets are not achieved, there will be a penalty in the form of an adjustment to the coupon rate or premium on maturity of the SLBs.

The framework was reviewed by Sustainalytics, a leading independent ESG research firm and assessed to be aligned with the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles 2020 set out by the International Capital Market Association. Sustainalytics also considered the framework’s KPIs and SPTs to be strong and ambitious.