At Acorn, we continuously seek to improve efforts and activities which contribute to increased sustainability. More specifically, we have made the commitment that all our real-estate developments will be certified under the EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) program, which is an innovative green-building certification from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
EDGE aims to help developers reduce their buildings’ energy and water consumption by 20% while lowering greenhouse-gas emissions. We see the resource-efficient, green building designs as an intrinsic part of commercial success and the creation of positive returns to shareholders.
The issuing entity of the first Green Bond
The Issuer, Acorn Project Two LLP, is a limited liability partnership established under the laws of Kenya. It was set up in 2018 for the purpose of issuing the Notes under the Medium-Term Note (MTN) Programme Transaction.
The Acorn sustainability commitment
In alignment with our sustainability commitment, Acorn Project Two LLP issued its first green Medium-Term Note (MTN) Programme of approximately KES 5 billion to fund green buildings certified under EDGE.
In 2019, with the support from GuarantCo, Acorn raised the first Green Housing Bond in Africa which was subsequently listed in the Nairobi Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange.
The MTN was issued as a Green Bond in compliance with the Climate Bonds Standards as declared by Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), the Green Bond Principles and the Social Bond Principles as declared by the International Capital Markets Authority (ICMA).
Given our leading presence in the Kenyan student housing market, the intended Green Bond transaction serves as a testament to our leadership and commitment to sustainability where all buildings will be undertaken in line with IFC EDGE requirements to achieve a minimum 20% reduction in water consumption, 20% reduction in energy consumption and 20% reduction in embodied energy in materials.
The criteria to meet the Climate Bonds Standards principles include:
Kenya is classified by the United Nations as a chronically water-scarce country on the basis of having one of the lowest water replenishment rates at 647 m3 per capita p.a. far below the 1,000 m3 per capita p.a. requirement.
With this in mind, we recognize the critical need to conserve an already scarce resource to ensure that no section of the population is deprived of their equitable share in water occasioned by the company’s activities.
According to a recent Multi-Tier Framework Energy Access Survey Report, Kenya’s energy access stands at 75% leaving a significant section of the population excluded. While the government is working towards universal access by 2022, there is a need to also focus on optimizing the current supply by eliminating any leakages to ensure the current energy capacity is shared equitably.
We institute measures to ensure that all our buildings contribute a minimum 20% reduction in energy consumption.
A report by the Innovation and Growth Team (IGT) on low carbon construction notes that CO2 emissions arise throughout a building’s life cycle. The same report places material usage as the second most significant area of carbon emissions after operational emissions.
At Acorn, we seek to achieve a 20% reduction in embodied energy in all our buildings through embodied carbon assessments at the project planning phase.
Our contribution to resource conservation can also be indicated by its approach to recycling, reusing and reclaiming materials, products, and packaging.