On December 21, 2017, Fromageries Bel signed an addendum to extend the maturity of its € 520 million multi-currency revolving credit facility and, on that occasion, chose to include environmental and social impact criteria.
The maturity of the multi-currency revolving credit line of June 8, 2011, modified by amendment of March 5, 2014, and not drawn until today, has been extended for a new period of 5 years, renewable for two successive periods of one year, to be increased to December 20, 2022 and potentially to December 20, 2023 and 2024.
For more than 10 years, Bel Group has been involved in a corporate social responsibility approach and, with the support of its lending bankers, has chosen to include environmental and social impact criteria in the credit agreement on the achievement of three objectives based on its 2025 sustainable development strategy:
- Reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions 1;
- Development of nutrition education programs in the Group’s key countries;
- Deployment of a concrete action program for a sustainable dairy upstream sector.
The amended line of credit includes a virtuous result obligation: in the event of non-achievement of objectives, the Bel Group undertakes to implement corrective measures through direct investments or financing of associations or non-governmental organizations.
“We are particularly proud to be among the pioneering companies to choose to tie credit line and environmental and social performance. This agreement integrates three key programs of the Group’s corporate social responsibility approach in terms of reducing the environmental footprint of its activities and maximizing its social impact, demonstrating that it is possible to combine financial and extra-financial performance.” explained Benoit Rousseau, Head of Treasury and Insurance at Bel Group.
“We are continuing to develop our financing offering that integrates environmental and social issues in order to support our clients committed to an ambitious CSR strategy. The Bel Group is a natural candidate that we wish to support in its long-term CSR strategy through a performance commitment defined in an annual calendar of objectives achieved in collaboration between the Bel Group’s Sustainable Development teams and the structuring teams within SG CIB, whose expertise on Social and Environmental impacts is strong and well acknowledged.” said Pierre Palmieri, Head of Global Finance at SG CIB, and responsible for the « Sustainable & Positive Impact Finance » offering.
This line included a syndicate of 10 groups of banks, all of which confirmed their commitment amount, demonstrating their confidence in the Bel Group. This agreement makes Bel the first group in the dairy industry to voluntarily index a line of credit to its performance in sustainable development.
The participating banks are Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking (SG CIB, E&S coordinator of the rider / extension), BNP Paribas (Credit Agent), BPCE Group, Crédit Agricole Group and CIC, Citi, MUFG, HSBC, Commerzbank, KBC, all committed to promoting sustainable financial products.
The Group will report on the progress of its approach in its Annual Registration Document.