HCUK Green Financing Framework Second-Party Opinion (2021)
Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC
Green Bond/Loan, EU Taxonomy Assessment,
Sustainalytics is of the opinion that the HCUK Green Financing Framework is credible and impactful and aligns with the four core components of the Green Bond Principles 2021 and the Green Loan Principles 2021. This assessment is based on the following:
USE OF PROCEEDS
The eligible categories for the use of proceeds – Clean Transportation and Renewable Energy – are aligned with those recognized by the Green Bond Principles and the Green Loan Principles. Sustainalytics considers that investments in the eligible categories will lead to positive environmental impacts and advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDGs 7 and 11.
PROJECT EVALUATION / SELECTION
Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC’s (“HCUK”) CSR Committee, which includes senior management, will be responsible for evaluating and selecting projects. HCUK has internal procedures in place to identify and manage environmental and social risks associated with assets financed in line with the UK and EU regulation, which are applicable to all allocation decisions made under the Framework. Sustainalytics considers these risk management systems to be adequate and the project selection process to be in line with market practice.
MANAGEMENT OF PROCEEDS
HCUK’s Treasury Team will be responsible for the management of proceeds using internal reporting systems and will report on the allocation of net proceeds to the CSR Committee. HCUK intends to allocate all proceeds within 24 months of issuance. Pending allocation, unallocated proceeds will be temporarily held in cash or short-term investments or used to repay debt. Sustainalytics considers this process to be in line with market practice.
HCUK intends to report on allocation of proceeds on its website on an annual basis until full allocation. Allocation reporting will include the percentage of allocated and unallocated proceeds, as well as the share of financing versus refinancing. In addition, HCUK is committed to reporting on relevant impact metrics. Sustainalytics views HCUK’s allocation and impact reporting as aligned with market practice.
Alignment with the EU Taxonomy
Sustainalytics has assessed HCUK’s Green Financing Framework for alignment with the EU Taxonomy and is of the opinion that, of the Framework’s two eligibility categories (which map to five EU activities) both align with the applicable Technical Screening Criteria (“TSC”) in the EU Taxonomy and partially align with the Do No Significant Harm (“DNSH”) Criteria. No categories were determined to be not aligned. Sustainalytics is also of the opinion that the activities and projects to be financed under the Framework will be carried out in alignment with the EU Taxonomy’s Minimum Safeguards.