Thai Union Group, one of the world's largest seafood companies, yesterday announced the closure of a 11.4-billion-baht sustainability-linked loan (SLL) package.
The new SLL commences the second phase of Thai Union's Blue Finance agenda, with a target of increasing sustainability-linked finance to 75% of the company's long-term financing by 2025.
Between 2020-2022, Thai Union completed its first phase of Blue Finance -- financing that has sustainability targets to benefit the oceans -- by successfully increasing its long-term SLL to 50% of the company's long-term financing.
The new SLL is denominated in both baht and US dollars across tenors of three and five years.
A group of banks comprising HSBC, Bank of Ayudhya, MUFG Bank, Mizuho Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have jointly underpinned the new financing, acting as mandated lead arranger and bookrunner and sustainability coordinators.
"Thai Union is pleased to receive strong support from leading relationship banks," said Thiraphong Chansiri, chief executive of Thai Union.
"Sustainability resides at the very core of our business."
Since the introduction of the SeaChange scheme in 2016, Thai Union has seamlessly woven the sustainability strategy into its global operations, Mr Thiraphong said.
"SeaChange played a pivotal role in instigating the launch of the first phase of our Blue Finance programme three years ago," he said.
"Now, with SeaChange 2030, we've set more ambitious goals encompassing both people and the planet. Our 2030 objectives serve as key performance indicators [KPIs] for the new SLL, underscoring our steadfast commitment to sustainability. This demonstrates our dedication to fortify our position as a leader in the capital market."
As part of the company's sustainability ambitions under SeaChange 2030, KPIs and sustainable performance targets (SPTs) focus on the company's performance on environmental, social and governance standards, including maintaining high rankings in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices' Food Products Industry Index, said Mr Thiraphong.
The SLL framework leverages verified science-based targets for the initiative's ambitious scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions targets, which align with a net zero goal by 2050, according to Thai Union.
The framework includes expanding Thai Union's successful sustainable fisheries to responsible aquaculture through certifications and aquaculture improvement projects, setting new standards and practices for the aquaculture industry globally, he said.
DNV was appointed the provider of second-party opinion reports on KPIs and SPTs, as well as confirming alignment to SLL principles.
Progress on KPIs and SPTs are verified by external organisations to ensure a fair and independent evaluation, noted Thai Union.