Green Financing Framework announced for Japanese hyperscaler

Asia-Pacific and Japanese (APJ) hyperscale data centre specialist, AirTrunk, have announced the successful close of a landmark green loan in Japan as part of its new Green Financing Framework. The green loan will finance AirTrunk’s recently announced 110+ megawatt (MW) West Tokyo data centre, AirTrunk TOK2, and will be the first green loan for a data centre in Japan.

AirTrunk Chief Financial Officer, Prashant Murthy said: “We continue to drive sustainable innovation throughout the design, build, operations and financing of our data centres. The green loan closed today has set several industry benchmarks including being the first for a data centre in Japan, and first to use eligibility criteria based on operating PUE and water productivity.”

The Framework complements AirTrunk’s Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL), which was announced in late 2021. The A$2.1 billion loan was the largest in global data centre history and first in the region, and has subsequently materially increased in size to support AirTrunk’s APJ expansion to address recent customer demand.

Prashant continued: “AirTrunk’s financing platform, including the new Green Financing Framework and SLL, takes AirTrunk to a clear leadership position in sustainable data centre financing. Linking our debt facilities to sustainability performance, holds our business to account on our commitments.”

Under the Framework, AirTrunk’s green projects must meet certain eligibility criteria which have a positive impact on the environment, in order to be financed through green loans. The company has defined three categories as ‘green loan’ eligible – Green Data Centre, Renewable Energy and Water Efficiency.

“The categories we selected as eligibility criteria for the Framework are key priorities for AirTrunk and its customers to ensure we continue to deliver the most sustainable digital infrastructure in the region,” he said.

The Framework aims to ensure that AirTrunk’s green loans are aligned to the four Loan Market Association Green Loan Principles being the use of proceeds, the process for project evaluation and selection, management of proceeds and reporting. It also aligns to six of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The joint Sustainability Structuring Agents for the innovative framework and green loan were Credit Agricole CIB, who also advised on the SLL, and MUFG Bank. Global leader in ESG research and analysis, Sustainalytics provided independent verification via Second Party Opinion of the Framework.

Daisuke Nishiyama, managing director, head of sustainable business division, MUFG Bank, said: “We are proud to be partnering with AirTrunk to execute the first green loan in the data centre sector in Japan, and drive innovation in the sustainable finance market. This green loan is in line with AirTrunk’s ambitious and first of its kind Green Financing Framework, and we are pleased to have played a part as a sustainability structuring agent in the development of this sector-leading framework. We look forward to our continued partnership and collaboration with AirTrunk.”

Antoine Rose, head of sustainable banking, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East at Crédit Agricole CIB said: “Crédit Agricole CIB is very proud to accompany AirTrunk as Sustainability Structuring Agents for this data centre financing, this is our second collaboration in a row after successfully closing AirTrunk’s inaugural Sustainability-Linked Loan last year. AirTrunk continues to strengthen its footprint in sustainable finance by launching its Green Financing Framework confirming its sustainability ambition and supporting high standards for this sector.”

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