The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a EUR 100 million long-term loan to Swedish property company Fabege for the development of two large office buildings with a superior environmental performance. These will be located in Solna (Arenastaden), a former industrial area that is being transformed into a modern and sustainable district.

During the construction of the new buildings, Fabege will use modern energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. The near-zero-energy-buildings (NZEB) will be environmentally certified and their final energy consumption will be below 50 kilowatt-hours per square metre. The buildings have been designed to meet high standards for office accommodation and building services comprising a Building Management System, fire protection services, security and ICT. Besides the environmental benefits, these NZEBs will have a significant social and economic impact, including an improved working environment, increased employee productivity, corporate reputational benefits, lower volatility in market value and employment generation during construction.

Jan Vapaavuori, EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in Sweden, said, “As the EU bank, the European Investment Bank has made tackling climate change one of its top priorities. We are therefore glad to be partnering with Fabege to support the construction of near-zero-energy-buildings, as this project will contribute to the increased use of renewable energies, reduction of energy consumption and sustainable urban development.”

Christian Hermelin, Fabege's CEO, commented, “We are gratified to see how high sustainability issues have climbed up the agenda. Our customers are setting tougher requirements, thereby continuously motivating us to take the next step. It feels even more positive now that the capital market is also investing in providing financing for sustainable investments. The joint process with the EIB for developing the format for green property financing has been important and we are very happy to be the first property company to achieve this type of green financing”.

Fabege has been actively involved in sustainability matters for over ten years now, and was recently ranked number eight in a list of the world's most sustainable property companies according to GRESB, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark. A number of years ago, Fabege made the decision to environmentally certify all new buildings under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM), and it recently took the subsequent decision to continue with certification of its existing property portfolio under BREEAM In-Use. From an initial focus on energy efficiency and reduced carbon dioxide emissions, the work has increasingly concentrated on the total environmental load of properties, social sustainability factors, active cooperation with tenants and demands on suppliers from a sustainability perspective. With the loan provided by the EIB, sustainable financing is now being added as an important and positive piece in the development jigsaw.