Impact investment legal experts help generate social and environmental benefits alongside financial return

Having advised New Zealand Green Investment Finance (NZGIF) since establishment, Chapman Tripp is proud to have advised NZGIF on its investment to help Wellington’s port decarbonise. The port is the first to benefit from NZGIF’s $100m in investment capital.

NZGIF is New Zealand’s green investment bank with a mandate to invest in companies and projects that reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. Through the deal announced last week, Wellington's CentrePort is able to draw on a $15m green credit facility to purchase electric vehicles, construct on-site renewable energy generation, improve energy efficiency and implement other low carbon initiatives.

The investment is consistent with NZGIF’s focus on transport, buildings, industrial processes, distributed energy and agriculture – and is the first investment in a series planned for 2020 and beyond.

NZGIF Chief Executive, Craig Weise said, “It was great to have the team at Chapman Tripp involved in our first deal.” 

“We are very pleased to be active in the market. As we build a portfolio of diverse investments, we are conscious of our long-term mission to put funds to work in a way that draws other market participants. This initial investment is the first of many building blocks which will help the market to understand and invest with us in a low carbon future,” Weise adds.

With this deal, Chapman Tripp continues its role in helping New Zealand to develop markets for low-carbon finance. The firm’s finance partner leading the deal, Leigh Kissick said, “We are excited to have been involved in this significant milestone for New Zealand, and very lucky to be working alongside the high-quality team at NZGIF.”

With a broad and flexible mandate, NZGIF has committed to invest via a range of capital structures, from debt to equity, and will seek to combine the $100m in capital with other investors on a commercial basis in companies, projects and technologies to accelerate emissions reductions.

“Green finance instruments are becoming more popular as companies seek to reduce their carbon footprint, and as reporting frameworks such as TCFD become mandatory for many large and/or high emissions companies”, Kissick adds.

The firm's annual NZX Top 50 Funding Composition – trends and insights publication released last month also noted a slight uptick in green financing.

Chapman Tripp’s expertise in advising on climate change-related risks was further recognised last year when The Aotearoa Circle commissioned the firm to provide a public legal opinion on climate-related duties and obligations for directors and fund managers.

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Related topics: Climate change; Funds; Project finance; Infrastructure development

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