In positive news for the retail real estate sector, the QIC Shopping Centre Fund (QSCF) recently welcomed the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) into its investor base with a substantial $80m equity investment.
This investmentrecognises QICRE’s pathway of sustainability performance enhancement across the QSCF’s retail asset portfolio in alignment with its objective to meet a market-leading net zero emissions target. QICRE is delivering tangible sustainability improvements across its Australian retail portfolio, which range from automation of centre plant and equipment to installation of LED lighting and PV solar technology.
Managing Director Michael O'Brien said: “This is an important milestone for the QSCF, one of our flagship investment vehicles. Our relationship with the CEFC and ongoing focus on continuous improvement in ESG performance assists in our active pursuit of market-leader status in achieving zero net emissions across our Australian retail portfolio.”
This substantial equity investment by the CEFC is a consequence of a three-year relationship, commencing in 2017 with a $200m debt facility and strengthened in 2019 via a $30m cornerstone investment into QICRE's Climate Bonds Initiative-certified green bond for the retail sector.
CEFC Chief Executive Michael Learmonth welcomed the fund's strong focus on emissions reduction, acknowledging the significant potential of shopping centre operators to reduce Australia's carbon footprint. He said: "We are delighted to continue our work with QICRE in implementing a range of high-impact sustainability initiatives to its considerable retail portfolio, which will deliver lower operating costs.”
“Through this equity investment, the CEFC is able to work alongside like-minded investors who recognise the benefits of developing resilient assets as part of the pathway towards net zero emissions,” Learmonth added.