All of Majid Al Futtaim assets will go through the sustainability linked parameters as part of the debt deal. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai-based mall operator and community developer Majid Al Futtaim has signed its first $1.5 billion (Dh5.51 billion) sustainability-linked loan (SLL) to support environmentally and socially sustainable economic activity. The SLL is a financial instrument secured primarily on environmental, social and governance (ESG) related performances.

Majid Al Futtaim's five-year SLL is structured as a revolving credit facility (RCF). The company's agreement also includes a gender diversity target for women to constitute 30 per cent of board members and senior management roles, aligning with the global aims of the 30 per cent club - a global campaign led by chairpersons and CEOs to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels.

“The signing of our first sustainability-linked loan comes as a result of our long-term strategic targets, including the production of more energy and water than we consume, reaching a net positive business model by 2040,” said Ziad Chalhoub, Chief Financial Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Holding. “While a company’s profitability is important, how you contribute to sustainability is becoming more crucial and a filter for investors to decide how much and where they will invest.”

One of Majid Al Futtaim’s goals as part of this SLL is to have all its malls certified LEED Gold or better. (LEED stands for ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ and is the most widely used green building rating system in the world).

Majid Al Futtaim hotels were the region's first to receive LEED Platinum certification across its 13-hotel property portfolio earlier this year. “We are delighted to support Majid Al Futtaim in their landmark debut sustainability linked loan by acting as sole sustainability coordinator,” said Mohamed Salama, Regional Head of Client Coverage MENA, Standard Chartered Bank. “Having structured the first-ever loan in the Middle East to incorporate sustainability-linked pricing in 2018, we are proud to have brought another pioneering facility to the market.”