Thomas Wrangdahl hands over a NIB Environmental Bond certificate to Fredrik Wirdenius, CEO of Vasakronan, in Stockholm on 5 May 2017. Photo: Arild Moen
“Throughout the loan process with NIB, Vasakronan’s treasurer has come to work closely with our sustainability experts and our technical staff. This has led to new questions being asked and provided new perspectives and engagement,” says Fredrik Wirdenius, CEO of the carbon neutral property company Vasakronan AB.
On Friday 5 May, NIB’s Head of Lending Thomas Wrangdahl handed over a NIB Environmental Bond certificate to Vasakronan.
The certificate commemorates that two of Vasakronan’s projects, the renovation of Sergelhuset in Stockholm and the construction of the Platinan office building in Gothenburg, are co-financed by a ten-year loan of SEK 2,345 million, funded with the proceeds of NIB Environmental Bonds (NEB).
While the Bank started issuing NIB Environmental Bonds already in 2011 and the loan to Vasakronan is for the 50th NEB-financed project, this is the first time the Bank has presented such a certificate to a loan customer.
“The financing from NIB is very competitive, and since the Bank analyses the projects it funds very thoroughly, the loan has become a quality stamp for Vasakronan’s brand”, says Mr Wirdenius.
NIB issues green bonds to attract investors who specifically seek to finance a more sustainable future.
The Bank allocates the funds from its NIB Environmental Bonds to projects that have sustainable benefits, such as Vasakronan’s projects in Gothenburg and Stockholm.
The old SEB headquarters, located at the Sergel square in the heart of Stockholm, will be renovated and transformed into office spaces, shops, a hotel and apartments. The construction work will start in summer 2017. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.
In the centre of Gothenburg, Vasakronan will replace an old office building with a new one of 76,000 square metres, to be named Platinan. The new building will include offices, retail space and a hotel. Construction started earlier this year and is scheduled for completion by June 2023.
Both projects are applying for LEED Platinum certification for “green buildings”. Platinum is the highest level in the LEED international green building certification system. These types of environmentally friendly properties qualify for financing from NIB as they promote the development of better routines for traceability and environmental foot-printing of construction materials.
“For Vasakronan, it is of immense importance to have attractive commercial real estate to let. Having buildings rated with the highest level of sustainability means less risk on the income side and therefore more valuable properties”, says Mr Wirdenius.
According to the European Commission, buildings represent 40% of energy use and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. This is why notable reductions in energy use and CO2 emissions can be achieved by improving the energy efficiency of buildings.
Vasakronan believes that Gold and Platinum certified buildings have a higher long-term market value. There is also a demand from clients who require offices with Green Building certifications.
Vasakronan is the leading property company in Sweden, and focuses on the major growth regions of Stockholm, Uppsala, Gothenburg, Malmö and Lund. The property company is jointly owned by the First, Second, Third and Fourth Swedish National Pension Funds.
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