The University of Gloucestershire has secured funds to help develop its major new city campus and hit its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.
In what’s claimed to be a sector-leading move, the university has secured £29 million in ESG-linked loans from Barclays on the basis of its plans to: reduce gas and electricity CO2 emissions as part of its commitment to achieve net zero by 2030; recruit a higher proportion of UK-domiciled young BAME students; and widen access, engagement and participation for students from deprived areas.
“In being prepared to sign up to the ESG-linked financing we’ve shown that, as an organisation, we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is and that we will deliver on our commitments to decarbonisation,” said Camille Stallard, chief financial officer at the university.
“It is also a demonstration of our push to recruit a higher proportion of UK-domiciled young BAME students, as well as widening access, engagement and participation for students from deprived areas, so they’re able to enjoy the benefits of attending university.”
Barclays and the university have agreed monitoring metrics by which the bank will annually assess whether the latter is making progress towards hitting its ESG targets.
As we reported in February, the city campus development is housed in a former Debenhams store, and will be used for teaching, learning and community partnerships.
Its primary purpose will be for training nursing and education professionals, with courses slated to begin in September 2023.
Besides readying the region’s future nurses and teachers, the university estimates that, over its lifetime, the new campus will add over £300 million of direct and indirect value to the Gloucestershire economy, as well as more than 4,000 jobs.
In March, it was announced that the university had clinched a funding award of £3.3million from the Salix public sector decarbonisation scheme, with the ensuing infrastructural improvements set to save a claimed 383 tonnes of CO2 every year.