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Pernod Ricard signs €2.1bn sustainability loan

Drinks firm Pernod Ricard has secured a €2.1 billion (US$2.6bn) loan specifically for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.

The loan allow the drinks giant to carry out targets set out in its sustainability roadmap

It is the first loan of this kind that the Absolut owner has taken out, and will be used to refinance an existing facility expiring in June 2024.

In addition, the loan will target two environmental commitments: reducing its absolute greenhouse gas emissions on operated sites, and reducing water consumption per unit produced.

Vanessa Wright, chief sustainability officer, said: “As part of our Sustainability and Responsibility roadmap, we’re committed to preserving the world’s natural resources by reducing carbon emissions, water consumption and waste throughout our value chain.

“The group’s recent sustainability-linked facility is another demonstration of our drive to reduce our environmental footprint and protect the natural ecosystems, where we source all the ingredients that make our iconic brands.”

The two environmental commitments were selected for representing ‘stringent sustainability challenges’ for Pernod Ricard and the industry as a whole, as well as being in-line with its sustainability roadmap.

The roadmap focuses on four key areas: nurturing terroir, valuing people, circular making, and responsible hosting. Each one endeavours to address issues such as climate change, human rights, and waste.

The group has previously launched two sustainability-linked bond issues in 2022, linked to these same key performance indicators.

The loan has been committed to by 22 banks, with an April 2028 maturity (final payment date). It includes two one-year extension options.

Banking group BNP Paribas acted as coodinator of the deal, while Crédit Agricole CIB acted as the environmental, social and governance (ESG) coordinator.

The refinancing is said to demonstrate the ‘confidence’ of Pernod Ricard’s banking partners.

Last week (25 April), Pernod faced calls for a portfolio-wide boycott of its brands after the company confirmed it had resumed exports to Russia. On 28 April, the company revealed it has U-turned this decision, and is “working to find a way” to halt exports of its international brands to Russia following protests in London and Ireland.

Yet, according to the drinks business, sources within other international drinks groups have acknowledged that they similarly face the same decisions and hint that Pernod Ricard has strived harder than some to comply with international sanctions.

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