Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, has secured a sustainability-linked US$5bn revolving credit facility (RCF) with a syndicate of 26 banks.

The oversubscribed RCF, which will be used as part of Maersk’s liquidity reserves, refinances an undrawn US$5.1bn facility maturing in 2021, and comes with a tenor of five years and the possibility of a two-year extension.

The credit margin under the facility will be adjusted based on the company’s progress in meeting CO2 targets, with the firm aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per cargo moved by 60% by 2030.

Maersk says these goals are “significantly more ambitious than the International Maritime Organization (IMO) target of 40% by 2030”.

Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of fleet and strategic brands, comments: “Given the lifespan of our fleet, we need to find new and sustainable solutions to propel our vessels within the next 10 years. To realise this ambitious commitment, we are partnering with researchers, regulators, technology developers, customers, energy providers – and now banks.”

Hallberg Thygesen adds: “We are determined to reach our ultimate target of becoming fully carbon neutral by 2050.”

Acting as mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) were: Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Commerzbank, Crédit Agricole, Danske Bank, Deutsche Bank, Handelsbanken, HSBC, MUFG, Nordea, Santander, SEB and Standard Chartered.

Meanwhile the lead arrangers were: BBVA, DNB Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, ING, JP Morgan, Mizuho Bank, Morgan Stanley, NatWest, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Société Générale and Standard Bank.

Crédit Agricole and SEB served as sustainability coordinators, while MUFG acted as documentation agent and BNP Paribas as facility agent.

The deal follows a report released by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) earlier this month, which called for financial institutions to do more in tackling climate change. It said banks need to “break free from passivity” and put more capital towards green loans, sustainable revolving facilities and collaborative financing.

Nevertheless, there has been an uptick in sustainability-linked loans in recent years, especially within the commodity space, where firms like Rusal, Olam and Cofco have all recently penned deals that were tied to environmental standards and performance.

In September 2019, for instance, Olam inked a US$525mn RCF with a collection of banks, the pricing of which will be reduced if it meets certain environmental, social and governance performance criteria.

Meanwhile, in the same month, aluminium producer Rusal launched what it said was Russia’s first-ever sustainability-linked syndicated facility.