ING structures and coordinates largest-ever sustainability improvement loan in commodity trading

16 July 2019 ... min read

The $2.1 billion loan links COFCO International’s interest rate to its sustainability performance and rating.

ING has coordinated the largest-ever sustainability improvement loan in commodity trading for China’s multinational leading food and agri company, COFCO International. The $2.1 billion loan links COFCO International’s interest rate to its sustainability performance and rating.

“As a rapidly-growing international agri-business, meeting rising demand for food in a sustainable way is key to our purpose,” said Johnny Chi, chairman of COFCO International. “With our main financing now linked to our sustainability performance, we fully commit ourselves to further driving sustainability into our operations and supply chains.”

COFCO International’s sustainability improvement loan includes targets linked to the company’s sustainability rating benchmarked by Sustainalytics and targets on improving the traceability of its key commodities. COFCO International will invest the discounts obtained by meeting the agreed sustainability targets under this loan in improving its sustainable supply, health and safety, local communities and sustainability standards.

“I am proud to welcome our first Chinese sustainability improvement loan client, and I hope many more will follow,” said Leonie Schreve, global head of Sustainable Finance at ING.

“We believe that sustainable business is better business. That’s why we actively support clients to take action in fighting climate change through financing and rewarding their efforts to transition to a sustainable business.”

As a bank, ING makes the most impact through our financing, via the money we lend to companies and customers. In April 2017 ING became the first bank worldwide to provide a sustainability improvement loan, having coordinated and participated in over 50 since then.

In September 2018, we announced our ambition to steer our €600 billion loan book towards meeting the Paris Agreement’s well below two-degree goal. We call our strategy to get there the Terra approach.

With 11,000 people in 35 countries, COFCO International is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corporation, China's largest food and agriculture company. COFCO International is a leader in the global grains, oilseeds, sugar, coffee and cotton supply chains, with assets across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The company trades with over 50 nations, while providing farmers unique direct access to the growing Chinese market. In 2018, COFCO International handled over 100 million tonnes of related commodities with revenues of $31bn. The company is accelerating its growth to create a world-class integrated global agriculture supply chain, anchored in China and competing globally.

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