11. 4. 2024

A lower interest rate in exchange for lower emissions: CEZ closes its third sustainability-linked loan, can draw up to CZK 2.5 bn from CaixaBank

CEZ has negotiated another sustainability-linked loan – its third already – connected to ESG rating. The credit line provided by the CaixaBank branch operating in the Polish market amounts to CZK 2.5 billion. As in the case of the two previous credit agreements, if CEZ meets its decarbonisation commitments in the coming years, it will obtain a more favourable interest rate at draw-down, whereas if its ESG parameters deteriorate, its interest rate will jump up. In total, CEZ can draw up to CZK 13.5 bn from all three loans linked to ESG. In terms of sustainability, CEZ Group is currently among the top 13% best-rated publicly traded companies in the world.

“Credit lines linked to specific ESG targets, such as reducing emission intensity, are already the standard offered by an increasing number of banks and other financial institutions. At CEZ, we have implemented a very robust decarbonisation strategy. We are the first Czech company to boast international validation of our climate targets by SBTi. Consequently, we will want to use this type of borrowing with increasing frequency. The line closed with CaixaBank belongs to our portfolio of committed credit back-up lines. Reference to ESG rating was chosen with a view to the short timeframe of the credit line,” said Martin Novák, Member of the Management Board and head of the Finance Division.

The credit parameters of the loan are based on the rating established by a leading international ESG rating agency.

CaixaBank is the leading financial group in Spain with a volume of assets of more than €600 billion and a relevant position at European level. CaixaBank's international network offers support to the bank's business customers operating abroad, where CaixaBank provides coverage through more than 200 professionals in close to 30 international points of presence. The bank is committed to establish itself as a benchmark in sustainability in Europe. CaixaBank was the leading bank for sustainable finance in the EMEA region in 2023, according to Refinitiv LSEG’s annual ranking.

In 2021, CEZ presented its business strategy ‘Clean Energy for Tomorrow” based on ESG pillars. Decarbonisation of the energy production portfolio, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as other pollutants, and achieving net-zero by 2040 are key aspects of the environmental pillar. Last year, CEZ Group reduced its emission intensity by 8% year on year.

CEZ Group has made significant progress in ESG rating in the last three years. The CSR Hub rating aggregate, which recalculates ratings of CEZ from approximately 30 major international agencies, currently places CEZ Group among the 13% best-rated companies. There are more than 36,000 companies from around the world in the CSR Hub database.

CEZ Group closed the first line of credit linked to ESG indicators worth CZK 7.5 bn in the summer of 2023 with UniCredit, followed by a credit line with the Všeobecná úvěrová banka (owned by Banca Intensa) worth CZK 3 bn. With the most recent line from CaixaBank, the aggregate volume of available ESG-linked loans amounts to approximately CZK 13 bn.