The result is a hospital surrounded by greenery, large gardens and outdoor spaces with more than 70 interior courtyards and hanging gardens.

“All of the patient rooms are outward-facing, so everyone, even in intensive care, has a pretty unusual exterior appearance,” says Mantell.

Build stakeholder recognition

As for the deal, CommBank’s chief sustainability and ESG director Charles Davis said it was the first loan in Australia to recognize an asset for positive environmental and social outcomes.

CommBank’s Managing Director of Sustainability and ESG, Charles Davis. Supplied.

“Such sustainability credentials can help highlight to the market, investors and broader stakeholders the positive contribution of the borrower to a more sustainable economy and a more inclusive society,” says Davis.

Celsus Chief Financial Officer Rohit Selvaratnam agrees that the loan demonstrates the company’s commitment to sustainability and is a statement to all of their stakeholders that “we are committed to this process and now we are. part of our strategic plan ”.

“We hope that we will be recognized for our work and the next time we go to market I anticipate that we will actually reap a real direct financial benefit.”

As for working with CommBank, which is the joint sustainability coordinator of the deal, Mantell says that this “allows us to further develop our relationship with them and now we have established a very common common ground, we would really like to continue. to build this with them “.

Davis says, “The CommBank team seeks to work with clients to identify solutions that match their sustainability aspirations and help them gain recognition for the positive environmental and social attributes achieved by their assets and operations.”

The large size of Celsus’ loan as well as the innovative criteria of sustainable finance made this transaction stand out, says Davis.

“For Celsus, the focus was on recognizing the environmental and social aspects of the facility, recognizing its positive contribution to the people of South Australia,” he says.

And these environmental and sustainability aspects of the facility go far beyond the fact that RAH is a hospital in the park. For example, there is an on-site system to generate heat and power, rainwater harvesting for non-potable water use, and energy efficient fittings and low impact paints have been used in the whole building.

Di Mantell, CEO of Celsus. Supplied.

“A lot of other thoughts were made to the building as well, such as when people move around the hospital, the signage was created by local artists,” Mantell said.

“We used responsible materials in the flooring and acoustic installation and the native landscape was designed in a water-sensitive way and after four years it has developed really well and looks amazing. “

Go beyond green

Beyond environmental initiatives, the establishment also claims a number of factors that explain its social contributions. For starters, it’s available to all South Australians and is the state’s largest teaching and research hospital. The focus is on indigenous health with a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Unit on site.

“There are specific areas for people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds as well as for the elderly, so when people enter the building they feel comfortable entering it,” says Mantell.

She says that while the green star rating was initially a great platform for the hospital to showcase its sustainability credentials, and “we cherish having it as the only Australian hospital with it,” the refinancing offered an opportunity to develop them further.

The combination of the social elements with the environmental attributes of the hospital and “having a sustainable ecological and social loan gave us an added incentive to really look at social and green principles and focus on what we are doing. can do in space in the future, ”Mantell said. .

CommBank, Future Cities and Networks Managing Director Michael Thorpe. Supplied.

CommBank Future Cities and Networks CEO Michael Thorpe said deals like the refinancing of RAH are very attractive to all stakeholders.

“There are clear financial benefits to be gained from demonstrating a project’s green credentials and their wider application to the delivery of essential services to communities. We expect to see more and more qualifying green and social projects as the Australian economy continues to focus on broader ESG alignment, ”said Thorpe.

Excellent business card

For Celsus, Selvaratnam says that working closely with CommBank on the deal has been particularly valuable because “they have a lot of expertise in this area, as well as expertise in the debt markets, which, combined with the future, we will be very valuable as a company ‘.

Selvaratnam and Mantell agree that the loan is a great business card because it catches people’s attention being the world’s first healthcare sustainability loan.

“Being able to be the first in a number of things just helps you move the ESG agenda forward,” says Mantell.

“Doing a refinance is an incredible achievement for the company at any time, and Covid provided a few opportunities and challenges for all of us as we worked through the process, but we had an incredible result for the company.

“I am really proud as a CEO, mother and grandmother and I really want us to be a role model and commit to continue to run this social infrastructure in the best possible way while respecting the environment in which we are. let’s work, ”says Mantell.

For Thorpe, “CBA was delighted to be working alongside Celsus to bring a benchmark structure to market. “


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