Real estate lender Atelier is to price the interest on its loans according to the sustainability of developer-led projects.
Developers who meet a series of tangible sustainability metrics - from the embedded carbon of the project to its calculated operational energy and potable water use - are rewarded with rebates that bring the net annual cost of their borrowing down as low as five percent.
The Carbon and Sustainability Rebate, created with support from the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba), is paid to developers upon completion of their project and after independent assessment of the development’s carbon and sustainability credentials.
The 'Carbonlite Challenge' offers loans of up to £10m to qualifying residential developments in England, Scotland and Wales, using finance provided by lead investor M&G Investments.
Chris Gardner, co-founder of Atelier, comments: “The goal of the Carbonlite Challenge is to use the power of global capital to reduce the cost of development finance and change the way Britain builds homes for the better.
“By connecting institutional investors seeking low carbon opportunities to forward-thinking developers who see the commercial benefits of building more sustainably, we’ve built a financial bridge between global net zero targets and the development of greener homes."
The seven-month pilot programme is being delivered by a coalition of participants from real estate, greentech finance and legal sectors. They include the development finance brokers SPF Private Clients and Carbon Funding Consultants, the property advisers Savills, the building consultants Paragon and the international law firm Allen & Overy.
Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, says: “Environmental concerns are increasingly on the agenda so developers will welcome this opportunity to be rewarded for taking a green approach, incentivising them to deliver sustainable schemes. Crucially, they will also benefit from reduced funding costs, making this product among the most competitively-priced on the market.”