Standard Chartered has executed its first green export letter of credit (LC) programme, supporting agri-commodity producer ADM as it looks to boost sustainable practices across farming supply chains. 

The US$500mn programme largely facilitates the export of soybeans, oil seeds and cotton from markets in Latin America, the US and Australia to buyers in Europe. 

Transactions are structured so that sustainability certifications are issued and evidenced in line with international standards, including those set by non-profit organisations such as the Better Cotton Initiative. 

The programme “supports supply chain trackability and greater adoption of sustainable farming and production practices, promoting positive impacts on resource efficiency, deforestation, energy use and social impact”, Standard Chartered says. 

Chicago-headquartered ADM adds that the deal will “support and encourage sustainable agriculture and food production from the farm gate to the dinner plate”. 

“We look forward to continuing to expand our structured trade efforts in sustainability,” says ADM’s vice-president and global head of structured trade finance, Olivier Boujol. 

The programme forms part of a broader sustainability initiative launched by Standard Chartered in March last year, which involves the bank embedding Loan Market Association green loan principles into its global trade finance offering. 

The first green trade finance facility under the initiative was launched in September 2021, supporting efforts by UAE-based Amplus Energy Solutions to boost its solar power generation business. 

Kai Fehr, the bank’s global head of trade and working capital, says the latest transaction demonstrates growing market interest in green trade finance facilities. 

“Our clients are increasingly prioritising sustainability across their supply chain ecosystem, which is not only important to their business agenda but also ensures a more resilient growth for the wider economy,” he says.