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Standard Bank powers up Resilient’s sustainability goals with R700m green loan

18 Mar 2024

South Africa
Real Estate
Business Unit
Investment Banking | Transaction Banking
Specific Role
Sole funder and sustainability coordinator
Standard Bank is proud to announce that it has assisted local retail-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) Resilient in raising their first green loan worth R700 million.

Standard Bank acted in its capacity as sole funder and sustainability coordinator in the transaction, which is intended to fund the installation of solar panels and the related infrastructure in Resilient’s various shopping centres.

Resilient has carved a niche in dominant shopping centres boasting at least 3 anchor tenants and national retailers. The group’s footprint stretches across South Africa with 27 centres as well as 3 centres in Nigeria and 4 centres in France.

Standard Bank recognises that solving South Africa’s energy crisis will entail collaboration from various stakeholders, including financial institutions and private business, and we are committed to playing our role to promote more sustainable energy resources. Resilient has been an industry leader in solar and battery installations and has been proactive in ensuring uninterrupted trading during periods of loadshedding. In partnership with its tenants, the group has installed 167 in-store battery systems to date, and several tenants have been connected to reliable backup generators. With this funding, Resilient will be able to generate more of their electricity through solar and reduce their reliance on the national energy grid, while empowering their retail tenants to operate in a more sustainable way.

Resilient is the proud owner of the largest rooftop solar installation in South Africa, at the 6.81MWp installation at Boardwalk Inkwazi. The group has also recently received approval from the Mbombela Local Authority to expand the solar installation at I’langa Mall from 1.37MWp to 4.37MWp and from the Madibeng Municipality for the increase of the installation at Brits Mall from 1.44MWp to 3.94MWp. Approval has also been received from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to expand the solar installations at Galleria Mall and Arbour Crossing from 1.45MWp to 5.98MWp and 1.43MWp to 2.98MWp, respectively.

As part of its operational cost management strategy, Resilient prioritises the implementation of solar panels and battery storage systems. Battery systems offer compelling advantages including energy arbitrage, peak demand reduction and loadshedding mitigation. Through arbitrage, batteries are charged during low-cost off-peak periods and discharged during peak hours, reducing reliance on expensive grid electricity. Peak shaving further optimises costs by lowering peak demand charges from the grid. Additionally, sufficient battery capacity ensures continued power supply during potential power outages. Solar energy plays a prominent role in advancing Resilient’ s ESG performance, and to date, the group has invested R564 million in solar and battery systems, with a further R463 million approved and included in capital expenditure plans.

Standard Bank is proud to have taken part in a transaction that can be considered a significant step in Resilient’s sustainability journey. In line with our commitment to driving the sustainable development of our continent, we will continue to offer our clients a variety of sustainable finance solutions, such as green loans, bonds, sustainability-linked financing, sustainable trade solutions and impact investments, in order to drive positive change in environmental, social and governance areas.