Unite Students launches Sustainable Finance Framework – 26 April 2021
Unite Students launches Sustainable Finance Framework
Unite Students, the UK’s leading owner, manager and developer of student accommodation, today announces the launch of its Sustainable Finance Framework (the ‘Framework’), which links the company’s financing strategy with our wider sustainability strategy as set out in our recent preliminary results.
A commitment to “doing what’s right” is part of who we are at Unite Students. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to reduce our environmental impact, support the wellbeing of our student customers, and promote access to Higher Education through the Unite Foundation. Our new sustainability strategy includes targets for net zero carbon operations and development by 2030, a commitment to providing opportunities for all our employees irrespective of their background, gender or ethnicity and a pledge to raise standards across the student housing sector.
The Framework sets up the criteria for financing projects through sustainable bonds, loans and other debt products. Underlying projects have a positive environmental and/or social impact, thereby contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, while supporting the company’s business strategy. These include green buildings, projects aimed at improving the energy efficiency of our properties and renewable energy as well as social initiatives including the provision of affordable housing, financial support for students through the Covid-19 pandemic and projects aimed at widening participation in post-18 education.
ISS ESG has assessed the Framework to ensure its alignment with relevant principles published by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) and the Loan Markets Association (LMA). ISS’s second party opinion is available on the investor relations section of the Unite corporate website here.
NatWest acted as sole Sustainability Structuring Advisor in supporting Unite in developing the Framework.
Joe Lister, Chief Financial Officer of Unite Students, said:
“The publication of our Sustainable Finance Framework represents another significant milestone for our sustainability strategy. We have clear objectives to become a net zero carbon business by 2030, while delivering a positive social impact through our work with our employees, students and local communities. The Framework enables us to fund our sustainability journey through debt instruments that are environmentally and socially impactful, allowing investors to more directly link the benefits of their funding to our sustainability objectives.”
For further information, please contact:
Joe Lister / Michael Burt / Alan Carr
Tel: +44 117 302 7005
Unite press office
Tel: +44 117 450 6300