With Barclays acting as Sustainability Coordinator, the Group has introduced a sustainability component into its existing £225m Revolving Credit Facility, tying its financing costs to the achievement of the Group’s sustainability strategy.
Under the agreement, Watches of Switzerland must demonstrate an annual reduction in Scope 1, 2 & 3 greenhouse gas emissions, which is consistent with achieving its near-term Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) validated targets and aligns with the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
A further Sustainability Performance Target links to the Group’s circularity focus and an annual increase in the number of watches kept in circulation each year through its repairs, servicing and pre-owned business.
Sustainability-linked loans aim to facilitate and support environmentally and socially sustainable economic activity and growth, which aligns with the Group’s Purpose to ‘wow clients, while caring for colleagues, communities and the planet’.
The news comes after Watches of Switzerland recently achieved an MSCI ESG Rating of AAA in recognition of its leading ESG credentials.
Brian Duffy, CEO of the Watches of Switzerland Group, said: “In line with our Purpose and values, we are committed to sustainable growth and protecting our planet for future generations by setting ourselves ambitious targets and ensuring ESG is an inextricable part of how we do business. Today’s news further underscores our commitment to deliver on our sustainability goals.”
Marco De Benedictis, Head of Structuring & Sustainable Lending at Barclays, said: “It’s with great pleasure that we are able to support such a forward-thinking company as Watches of Switzerland with a sustainability structure that elegantly reflects the impact they wish to have in the communities in which they operate. From the outset it was a strategic imperative with the outcome being a testament to management’s dedication.”
Kesah Trowell, Group Head of Sustainability and ESG, said: “Linking our Sustainability Performance Targets to the achievement of our near-term science-based emissions reduction targets reinforces our commitment to doing what we can to help mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, while our efforts to support a more circular economy will enable skilled work opportunities and ensure that more treasured timepieces can be enjoyed for many years to come.”