Global pioneer of sustainably produced premium wines, Yealands Wine Group is leading the way again with the signing of a new Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL) with ASB.
The Sustainability Linked Loan requires Yealands to commit to key environmental, social or governance targets, with borrowing costs adjusted based on its performance against these targets. This aims to reduce total emissions and intensity by five percent per annum.
As the first wine producer in the world to be Toitū carboNZero Certified from day one, Yealands has always measured, reduced, and offset all emissions, targeting a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. Its goal as a founding member of International Wineries for Climate Action is to become carbon positive by 2050, moving beyond net zero to make positive contributions to the environment.
“At Yealands, our vision is to create nature positive, carbon positive, and beautifully biodiverse wines. Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business with a real focus around taking actions that make a positive difference to our environment and community. A Sustainably Linked Loan aligns with our values and our premiumisation and growth strategy,” said Tiffani Graydon, Chief Executive.
Developed in partnership with ASB, the loan makes up to $96 million available to support the business’ growth plans. The SLL has five focus areas: driving down CO2 emissions, reducing carbon intensity, increasing renewable energy use, driving down diesel consumption and executing Yealands’ long term biodiversity plan.
“The sustainability credentials of our wines are an important differentiation in the markets. We are seeing strong demand globally – we recently doubled our volumes in the US and have already picked up some great awards for our vintage ’22 wines, so there is strong momentum behind our brands,” said Graydon.
Yealands is one of New Zealand’s largest independently owned wine businesses, noted for its award-winning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wines. It was recently awarded a double win for its 2021 Yealands Estate Single Block S1 Sauvignon Blanc at the highly respected International Wine Challenge, taking home the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Trophy and reclaiming the coveted International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy.
The company’s sustainability journey includes milestones such as installing vine pruning boilers in 2010 to convert vine prunings into energy, adding New Zealand’s largest solar panel array in 2013 and a purpose-built composting facility five years later. Solar, wind, and vine prunings create approximately 20 per cent of its annual energy requirements and Yealands has committed to increasing this to 60 per cent by 2024.
The Yealands Wines Marlborough Sustainability Initiative, in partnership with Marlborough District Council and the Blenheim Sun, also offers $50,000 of funding each year to local not-for-profits to improve freshwater quality, preserve sensitive natural areas and protect biodiversity in the Marlborough district.
“Yealands has been pioneering sustainability in New Zealand and this new facility cements its status as an innovator in this industry. Driving down emissions and increasing sustainability is fundamentally important for businesses as they support New Zealand’s progress towards net zero. Banks have a role to play in helping businesses with this big societal transition – which is why ASB is delighted to deliver another industry-leading Sustainability Linked Loan,” said Executive General Manager Corporate Banking at ASB, Nigel Annett.
ASB funds are allocated under the Reserve Bank's Funding for Lending programme which the bank has committed to using to support projects that meet sustainability or regional infrastructure criteria.