Etihad Airways has become the first airline to secure funding for a project based on its compatibility with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
Through a partnership with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Global Market, the airline will borrow $109million to support expansion of the LEED Platinum-rated building Etihad Eco-Residence, a sustainable apartment complex for the airline’s cabin crew.
Adam Boukadida, senior vice president treasury, tax and finance, Etihad Aviation Group, said the process to secure the loan hinged on a detailed international verification of the airline’s sustainability credentials.
“We are proud to be the first airline globally, and one of the first companies in the UAE, to obtain commercial funding based on our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations,” Mr Boukadida said.
“This assessment will enable us to fund long-term leases of the new Eco-Residence complex, located in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City innovation precinct, and will serve as the foundation for Etihad to fund future sustainable initiatives.”
“It will also highlight the growing specialisation of Abu Dhabi as a centre of excellence for financing sustainable projects, at a time of increasing global demand for ethics-based development.”
To support this financing, Etihad established a Sustainable Development Financing Framework, which specifies a range of projects for which funding can be provided.
Financing of these projects must be linked to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Etihad has identified seven priority categories – Green Buildings, Investment in Women, Biofuels, Reduction of Carbon Footprint, Waste Management and Recycling, Humanitarian Efforts, and Wildlife Protection.
The Etihad Eco-Residence met the requirements for two of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 7, Affordable and Clean Energy, and Goal 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.