No discount on ‘green loans’ but signalling seen as a plus

First green loan approved: no financial break on the funding but it offers developer an opportunity to signal environmental credentials

Glacier Media Real Estate
July 9, 2020

Tapestry Victoria green loan
— Concert's Tapestry project, Victoria.

A Victoria-based development project is the recipient of the first ‘green loan’ in Canada.
Concert Properties and HSBC Bank Canada announced July 9 a deal to convert a $71.5 million construction loan into a green loan – a new financial product for projects that bear strong environmental benefits and align with green loan principles developed by the global Loan Market Association.
Green loans don’t imply a preferential break on lending rates, a HSBC spokesman said.
“There’s no discount on a green loan. Similar to the way green bonds work, it’s a way to categorize lending. The main objective here is to allow customers to showcase their green credentials,” said Pascal Dessureault, HSBC head of communications and public affairs commercial banking.
The loan is for Concert's Tapestry project, a mixed-used 'active living' community with for-sale condos, rental suites, amenity spaces and some retail.
The project is expected to use 33 per cent less energy than a comparable building. Concert is also seeking gold certification for the development under the Canada Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
“Tapestry at Victoria Harbour demonstrates our commitment to quality, sustainability and creating communities that inspire and enhance the wellness of an active aging resident,” said Concert president and CEO Brian McCauley in a news release.
HSBC Bank Canada says it is the first financial institution to launch green finance products in Canada. Green loans include term loans, commercial mortgages and leasing, and are part of a global pledge by HSBC to dedicate US$100 million in financing and investment to green companies and projects.
Projects eligible for green loans include clean transportation, climate change adaptation, circular economy products and green buildings.


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