FRANCE – French spirit giant, Pernod Ricard, has signed its first sustainability-related loan, totaling € 2.1 billion (US$2.29bn) to refinance an existing line of credit that expires in June 2024.

The credit line has been underwritten by 22 banks, with an initial maturity in April 2028 and a two-year extension option.

The refinancing facility is linked to two environmental commitments including a reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) on operated sites; and a reduction of water consumption per unit produced at its distilleries.

Both commitments were outlined in Pernod Ricard’s 2022 Sustainability-Linked Financing Framework, and ‘address stringent sustainability challenges for us and our industry,’ the company said in a statement.

Vanessa Wright, chief sustainability officer, said: “As part of our Sustainability and Responsibility roadmap, we’re committed to preserving the world’s natural resources by reducing carbon emissions, water consumption, and waste throughout our value chain.

“The group’s recent sustainability-linked facility is another demonstration of our drive to reduce our environmental footprint and protect the natural ecosystems, where we source all the ingredients that make our iconic brands.”

The group has previously launched two sustainability-linked bond issues in 2022, linked to these same key performance indicators.

Pernod Ricard invests in circular economy technology start-up EcoSpirits

At the same time, the brewer has also invested in circular economy technology company EcoSpirits through its venture capital fund, Convivialité Ventures.

The alcohol giant joined the US$10 million Series A funding round for EcoSpirits, taking a minority share in the start-up, which is committed to developing low carbon, low waste distribution systems for the alcohol industry.

EcoSpirits’ closed-loop distribution system offers a “powerful cost advantage,” and reduces waste and carbon emissions by “avoiding the production and transportation of glass bottles and other secondary packaging.”

The startup plans to use the investment to strengthen its leadership position and accelerate its R&D activities.

EcoSpirits said it will be able to scale its hardware, software, and IoT R&D program, expand operations in key markets globally (including the US), and grow its regional customer and engineering teams in Miami, London, Singapore, and Shanghai.

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