Corporate and Investment

Standard Bank walks with Woolworths on their Good Business Journey

20 Dec 2021

South Africa
Business Unit
Corporate and Investment Banking
Specific Role
Bank (lender) / Sustainability co-ordinator / Sustainability agent
In June 2021, Standard Bank partnered with Woolworths to execute the first sustainability-linked loan in the South African retail sector.

Aimed at promoting the achievement of various sustainability targets, the R1.15 billion loan is aimed at demonstrating Woolworths’ commitment to environmental and social governance (ESG) principles. Then in December 2021, through its South African Transactional Products and Services (SA TPS) division, Standard Bank acted as a primary transactional advisory bank in the application of ESG-linked benefits to an existing R600 million Working Capital Facility, adding sustainability-based value to the retail sector financing.

Sustainability is entrenched in the Woolworths business. It’s deep-rooted in their culture and has manifested itself in their Good Business Journey initiative which was launched in 2021. The Good Business Journey focusses on improving 8 key areas across business: energy and climate change, water, packing and waste, sustainable farming, ethical sourcing, people, social development, and health and wellness.

Our primary objective was to partner with Woolworths in recognition of their sustainability journey and acknowledge responsible corporate governance by encouraging and rewarding the right behaviour by providing funding at reduced rates for meeting certain agreed sustainability criteria. Standard Bank provided seamless ESG funding solutioning across both investment banking and TPS, also venturing into unchartered waters in the crafting of our own TPS ESG template that would be included and form an integral part of the Working Capital Facility.

Watch: A South African first for sustainable finance solutions
Download Woolworths deal PDF