Environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are gaining ground in the oil-rich Gulf region, with borrowers setting up ESG frameworks to transition to greener economies and capitalise on a global surge in awareness of sustainability risks following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re now working on what would be our third transaction in the space”, Daniel Tromans, group treasurer at Etihad said on Wednesday, without disclosing details other than to say announcements could be made in the next few weeks.
He was addressing a panel on sustainability at the ACT Middle East Treasury Summit, an online event.
Etihad established a Sustainable Development Financing Framework in 2019, under which it raised 100 million euros ($117.14 million) to help fund the expansion of the “Etihad Eco-Residence”, a sustainable apartment complex for cabin crew.
It also has a Transition Finance Framework through which it can raise cash via transition bonds, sukuk or loans, either through public transactions or private placements.
Proceeds from debt sales under that framework are eligible to finance investments in next generation aircraft to replace old fleet and for research and development into sustainable aviation fuels.
The airline has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Etihad last year raised $600 million via “transition” sukuk, or Islamic bonds – meant to help companies gradually switch to more environmentally sustainable operations.