Stockyard secures Australia’s first sustainability-linked loan for Agriculture

Lachie Hart, Managing Director at Stockyard Group with Andrew Quinn, Director Specialised Agribusiness Solutions at Commonwealth Bank of Australia at Stockyard’s Kerwee Feedlot

In a first for Australia’s agriculture industry, Stockyard Group has entered a sustainability-linked loan (SLL) with Commonwealth Bank (CBA).

The three-year loan sets out clear parameters that will see our business stretching towards sustainable outcomes in emissions reduction, animal welfare and people wellbeing.

These targets are well beyond existing production standards that are already recognised as being some of the most rigorous globally and will take our operations significantly past a strong existing baseline performance.

The loan structure will provide Stockyard with savings on their loan costs if they meet five metrics across three key performance areas. If we regress in any of these metrics our penalty costs will be donated by CBA to a project that will better environment, social and governance (ESG) outcomes in the industry.

The cost savings achieved through the loan will be directly invested into projects that will allow Stockyard to not only meet the ongoing loan targets but ultimately achieve targets set by our organisation’s 2030 strategy.

Managing Director of Stockyard, Lachie Hart said the new loan structure mirrors their dedication to prioritise ESG initiatives.

“The loan incorporates our commitment to continuously strive for better care of our animals, the environment, the community, and our people,” said Mr Hart.

“We have welcomed the opportunity to participate in this innovative financing structure and make a commitment to tie important sustainability targets to our financing costs. To us, as a third-generation family business, it is our responsibility to pass on a viable, responsible, and sustainable business for future generations and this loan will allow us to utilise interest savings to ensure this is the case.”

Stockyard is already the first and only beef brand to be accredited with an internationally set of standards for sustainable agricultural and livestock management, Global G.A.P. This incorporates our low stress cattle handling, our regenerative farming practices, certified organic composted manure program and a rigorous workplace health and safety program.

Lachie Hart also commented on the opportunities that the loan will offer the organisation: “The loan provides the chance for our business to access internationally recognisable ESG credentials to assist with securing capital and customers in the future.”

Commonwealth Bank’s Group Executive for business banking, Mike Vacy-Lyle, said this landmark transaction will be a game changer for this business and demonstrates their ability to develop innovative finance solutions to support the sustainability of the industry through improved ESG outcomes.

“We know many farmers across the country are already adopting best practice sustainability and environmental stewardship, and we want to partner with agribusinesses to help them innovate and accelerate transition plans,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.

Stockyard has a strong alignment to the beef industries priorities such as the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework and the Carbon Neutral 2030 strategy. This loan will bring Stockyard closer to achieving these industry targets and allow Australia to continue its reputation for producing  superior beef in a clean, green environment.

Find out more about our approach to sustainability