NUS raises S$300 million through second green bond to finance sustainable infrastructure projects

Following the success of its inaugural green bond in 2020, NUS will use proceeds from the second issuance to fund additional projects under its Green Finance Framework.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) has raised S$300 million from its second green bond after a strong reception to its inaugural issuance in May 2020. With a fixed coupon rate of 1.62 per cent, the 10-year notes were fully subscribed and will mature in 2031.

NUS holds a corporate rating of Aaa – the highest possible grade – from Moody’s Investors Service. United Overseas Bank Limited is the sole lead manager and bookrunner for the bond issuance.

The proceeds will go towards financing further green projects such as the E7 facility, which bridges research between the Engineering and Medical fields, the state-of-the-art Wet Science Building, as well as energy-related initiatives.

NUS will once again lean on the Green Finance Framework that provides the criteria and guidelines for the University to enter into green finance transactions. It is believed to be the first university in Asia to have launched such a framework on sustainability-linked finance, as part of its steadfast commitment to combat climate change.

The Framework is part of University’s Climate Action Plan 2030 which aims to create a carbon-neutral university, and to cool the campus by a substantial 4 deg C.

“Climate change is a crisis that we can no longer ignore. At NUS, we are transforming our campus to make our sustainable vision a reality,” said NUS Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mr Tan Kian Woo.

“We are proud to have raised S$300 million in our first green bond issuance last year. The successful issuance of the second green bond, at also S$300 million, underlines the trust between the institution and our investors. I am certain we can continue to strengthen our environmental efforts and put NUS in good stead for the future.”

The Green Finance Framework

The Green Finance Framework allows the University to partake in green finance transactions – including its first green bond issued last year. These transactions will be used to fund a strong pipeline of eligible projects with clear environmental benefits.

The green projects defined in the Framework are aligned to five focus areas:

  • Green buildings or precincts;
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency infrastructure;
  • Sustainable water and wastewater management;
  • Pollution prevention and control; and
  • Sustainable management of natural resources and land use.

Sustainable infrastructure

Proceeds from the second green bond will help the University realise its Climate Action Plan by funding or re-financing key green infrastructure – starting with the recently-completed E7 building.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more important to go beyond symptombased treatment to disease prediction. The E7 facility will play a crucial role at the forefront of medical research, pioneering the development of advanced medical technology.

At the heart of the new E7 building is a sustainable and forward-looking architecture that reflects its aspiration for research collaborations. Features include vertical fins around the facade to control the amount of sunlight being let in, as well as courtyards and green pockets strategically located throughout the building.

Another key project is the newly-constructed S9 or the Wet Science Building, a 16-storey building designed to allow natural daylight through its glazed unitised curtain wall system, complemented with energy saving air-conditioning and lighting systems.

Both the E7 and S9 buildings have received the Green Mark Platinum certification from the Building and Construction Authority.

The green bond will also fund campus-wide upgrading and consolidation of district cooling chillers, which saved an estimated 75 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity from 2012 to 2019.

Meanwhile the University continues to invest in renewable solar energy. By end-2022, the total solar photovoltaic systems capacity in NUS will be able to generate close to 12 million kWh of clean energy annually – equivalent to about 4.3 per cent of yearly energy consumption. This will potentially reduce the University’s carbon emissions by 5,000 tonnes annually.

For more information on the Green Finance Framework, please visit https://nus.edu/2Oph5mt