SSEN's £250M Sustainable Credit Debut
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has taken a significant step towards its sustainability goals by signing its first-ever sustainability-linked Revolving Credit Facility (RCF).
This move underscores the company's unwavering commitment to sustainability, in line with its Environmental Action Plan and broader ambition to serve the public interest and promote inclusive service provision.
Originally signed in November 2022, the facility has now been enhanced to incorporate three key performance indicators aligned with SSEN Distribution's Sustainability Strategy. These indicators will be evaluated annually throughout the loan term, creating a strong connection between SSEN Distribution's sustainability and financing strategies.
The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) KPIs focus on the following areas:
Reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions,
Suppliers' adoption of science-based emission reduction targets, and
Providing support to customers in vulnerable situations.
Notably, SSEN Distribution is proudly leading climate action efforts as the first UK Distribution Network Operator to establish accredited science-based targets following a 1.5°C pathway. The company is committed to achieving a 35% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2028, with an ambitious target of a 55% reduction by 2033.
The facility also incorporates a 'social' KPI, empowering SSEN to prioritise services for the Priority Service Register, an initiative that offers additional assistance to customers facing vulnerability across SSEN Distribution's areas of operation.
With a deep-rooted dedication to creating a positive societal impact, SSEN Distribution's commitment to sustainable initiatives and securing this sustainability-linked loan exemplifies its ongoing responsibility.
Michaela Payne, Senior Consents and Environment Manager at SSEN Distribution expressed their pride in aligning business goals with stakeholders' interests and investors to achieve environmental, social, and governance performance targets. The company's Environmental Action Plan outlines a transparent and credible path to accelerate progress towards net zero during the RIIO-ED2 price control.
Chris Burchell, Managing Director of SSEN Distribution, emphasised the importance of investing in distribution networks to drive communities towards net zero while maintaining efficiency and affordability. The sustainable finance secured through this revolving credit facility ensures that SSEN Distribution stays focused on reliability, customer service, and protecting vulnerable communities.
Acknowledging the integral role of MUFG as sole Sustainability Coordinator, Fabianna Del Canto, Co-Head of MUFG EMEA Capital Markets, praised the collaboration with SSEN on its inaugural sustainability-linked facility for the Distribution business. The lender group showed strong support for the sustainability-linked structure, reinforcing SSEN Distribution's commitment to its ESG strategy with the inclusion of the three ESG KPIs and associated performance targets, including carbon reductions and assistance for vulnerable customers.