With the assistance of BBVA, Acerinox has become the first company in the steel industry in Spain to commit to linking its financial costs to its sustainable commitment. It has done so through the conversion of an €80 million bilateral loan, signed in March, to partially finance the purchase of VDM Metals. The purchase of this company, which has its headquarters in Germany and is world leader in the production of special alloys, poses a great opportunity for Acerinox to grow in new markets.
This financing is sustainable since the cost of the loan is linked to the evolution of two indicators established, which will be reviewed annually: relative emissions intensity (direct and indirect) per tonne of steel produced and the frequency of occupational accidents. The external consultant Sustainalyticshas issued an opinion that confirms that the operation is in line with the '2019 Sustainability Linked Loan Principles', the principles on which this type of transaction is based.
The Group continues to move towards a more sustainable transition, promoting the creation of shared value and taking into account the social and environmental impacts of its business activities. 'This shows the strategic vision, promoted by the Board of Directors and Senior Management, of continuing to make headway with our social and environmental commitment', ensures Bernardo Velázquez, Chief Executive Officer of Acerinox.
Jose Ramón Vizmanos, head of Global Client Coverage at BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking, explains: 'BBVA is committed to sustainability and to social and environmental development that has a positive impact, to ensure that the profitability of companies today, is sustainable tomorrow. That is why we accompany our customers in the transition to a sustainable future; we also accompany those who, due to their nature, have to make greater efforts'.
Acerinox, committed to a sustainable model
At Acerinox, we are committed to a transition towards a sustainable model, thus we signed the 2017 Circular Economy Pact. Furthermore, in December 2019 we adhered to the commitment of climate neutrality before 2050, promoted by Unesid.
Stainless steel as a material is a model of the circular economy as it fulfils the four 'Rs' (Reduce, Reuse, Re-manufacture and Recycle). In this respect, at Acerinox we are setting emission reduction targets linked to internal reductions in energy consumption and decreases in water consumption, as well as a more efficient use of the waste generated in the supply chain, and promoting all other aspects related to ESG. We have also integrated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the strategy of our business.
All these advances have received recognition from independent international bodies, encouraging us to continue working even harder.
BBVA a benchmark in sustainable financing
As a sign of its firm commitment to the fight against climate change, in 2018 BBVA announced its 2025 Pledge, through which the bank will mobilise €100,000 million by 2025 in green financing, sustainable infrastructure, social entrepreneurship and financial inclusion. The bank has the capacity, knowledge and experience to provide its customers with outstanding advisory services for sustainable financial solutions and is playing a key role in the development of this market.
BBVA has been a pioneer and key driver of sustainable loans and is currently one of the most active institutions worldwide and a leader in Spain. In 2019, the bank led a total of 18 operations in Europe and America for clients from a wide range of sectors and was one of the leading banks in the sustainable banking market. At 31 May 2020, BBVA had led an additional five operations.
Sustainalytics, leader in ESG ratings
Sustainalytics is a global leader in ESG and Corporate Governance research and ratings. Sustainalytics supports hundreds of the world's foremost investors who incorporate ESG and corporate governance insights into their investment processes.