For Immediate Release
Leo Secures a Total of HKD1.15 Billion Green Loan after Successful
Completion of Third Round of Green Financing
Among First Batch of Companies Eligible for Hong Kong Monetary
Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme
Kong, 28 July 2021 – Leo
Paper Group (Hong Kong) Limited (the “Group”), a global printing communications
company based in Hong Kong, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Leo
Paper Group Finance Limited (“Leo”), has
signed a HKD400 million four-year green term loan and revolving credit facility1
("Green Loan") with a group of eight major banks today. Together with
the green loans totalling HKD750 million obtained in 2018 and 2019, the Group
has secured a total of HKD1.15 billion in Green Financing. Also, the Group has been recognised as
the first batch of local companies eligible for the Green and Sustainable
Finance Grant Scheme of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”), entitling it
to full subsidy for all external review service expenses.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised
notably worldwide attention on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) endeavours of
business corporations. In the "14th Five-Year Plan for the Development of Circular
Economy" recently released by the National Development and Reform
Commission, there is a clear direction of
achieving full implementation
of “circular production” by 2025, encouraging industries to promote green designs and clean production, and to more
efficiently integrate and apply resources. It also urges financial institutions to increase green
and financing so as to support companies and projects related to the circular
economy. As a leader in
the printing industry
and a first mover in
ESG, Leo continued to enjoy strong support from local and international banks for this third
round of Green Financing amid the pandemic. Part of the HKD400 million green loan will be used on the green construction projects in its existing plants in
Mainland China and
Vietnam, to strengthen energy saving and reduction of carbon
emissions, waste gas, solid waste, waste water
and other environmental protection facilities. Another part of the loan will be used to
build a new green plant in Hunan, China
that complies with the certification standards, and more stringent
standards will be adopted at the plant for energy consumption, waste
water and waste discharges. The aim of such efforts is to help the country promote “carbon peaking” and “carbon neutrality”, while also driving the Group’s business development in Mainland
In fact, Leo has been
boosting its efforts on energy and emission reduction at its
production plants in Mainland China and Vietnam over the years to help foster
sustainable development of the paper products and printing industry. Since
securing green loans totalling HKD750 million in 2018 and 2019, the Group has
invested a few hundred million Hong Kong dollars so far in various energy
saving and technological improvement projects in relation to energy efficiency
management, carbon emissions reduction, waste water, waste gas control, green
buildings, resource utilization and recycling of natural resources, etc. The
significant results achieved have helped the Group’s production bases save
cumulatively close to 18 million kwh of electricity and reduce over 9,200 tonnes of carbon emissions
(data as of July 31, 2020), making environmental protection and energy
saving much more effective.
In addition, having
been recognised as the first batch of companies eligible for Hong Kong Monetary
Authority’s (HKMA) Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme, Leo has received
subsidy that covered all its external review service expenses. Also, with the
effort to promote development of green financing in Hong Kong, Leo became the
first private company to obtain the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency
(“HKQAA”) Green Finance Certification in 2018. Later in 2020, the Group also
won the “Outstanding Award for Green Loan Issuer - Comprehensive Green
Framework - Single Green Loan (Printing & Communication Industry)” from the
Hong Kong Sustainable Finance Awards 2020 organised by HKQAA. In addition to
the successful approval of the HKMA's Green and Sustainable Finance Grant
Scheme, it is undoubtedly a great affirmation and encouragement to Leo's
promotion of green development over the years.
Mr Samuel Leung, Group Chairman, said, “2020 was a
year of changes and challenges. COVID-19 pandemic which has lasted for more
than a year has profound impacts on the entire society, economy, market demand
and business operations. Some of the Group’s businesses such as paper
packaging, greeting cards and gifts, were also slightly affected last year.
However, benefiting from people staying home longer particularly in Europe and
the US, the Group’s home entertainment products including books, card games and
jigsaw puzzles had impressive growth in the slack market. With the pandemic
gradually coming under control, the Group will expand the production capacity
of its plants in Mainland China and Vietnam to prepare for the economic
has helped us realise the importance of sustainable development to a company.
Thus, we have implemented timely a full spectrum of sustainable development
strategies for environmental protection, social responsibility, employee
protection and business excellence. Looking ahead, the Group will continue to
promote environmental protection and strive to achieve the ‘zero-waste factory’
goal, in the hope of setting new industry standards."
Mr King Lai, CFO of the Group, said, “In spite of
the uncertainties in the global and local markets in recent years, our latest
Green Financing still received strong support from eight major banks. The fact that the HKD400 million four-year green term
loan and revolving credit facility only took 36 days to organize - a new
industry record – is a clear testament to the strong confidence the capital
market has in the Group's financial strength and prospects. We are proud to
have secured the funds and are grateful for the trust and recognition from the
banks. Going forward, we will continue to deliver on our promise of leading the
industry towards a greener future."
Mr Frank Fang, Head of Commercial
Banking, Hong Kong, HSBC, said: "Building on our support
for Leo Paper's Green Loan Framework established in 2018, we are pleased to
participate in the Group's Green Financing projects for the third time, as it
continues to embed sustainability into its operations. The banking sector plays
an important role in corporates' net-zero mission. As the leading bank in the
sustainable finance market, HSBC is dedicated to supporting our customers' ESG
agenda and driving the transition to a low-carbon economy."
The eight banking
institutions participating in the Green Financing exercise included (in
Bank of China (Hong
CTBC Bank Co., Ltd.
Hang Seng Bank Ltd.
The Hongkong and
Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd.
Mizuho Bank, Ltd.
The Bank of East
United Overseas Bank Ltd.
To demonstrate its determination to realising long-term sustainable development, Leo has formulated the “Green Harmony®” framework as the core policy aiming to build a green business chain from raw materials to consumers and from design to disposal. The Group also raised the barriers of the framework this year, hoping to give new impetus to its green development. For information about Leo’s work in promoting sustainable development, please refer to: https://www.leo.com.hk/uploads/docs/editor/Sustainability-Report_2020_Update.pdf
About Leo Paper
Group (Hong Kong) Limited
Since 1982, the Group has engaged in business as a traditional printing
company and since then, it has developed into a leading global printing
communications company, providing its clients with comprehensive printing
services. Over the years, the Group has continued to promote environmentally-friendly
materials and cleaner production technologies. To enhance its green
manufacturing capability, not only has the Group increased sourcing of “green”
materials and developed products with green technologies, but it has also
reduced waste and emissions and has reused resources. The Group strives to
improve their environmental performance in the production and business
operations to reduce the ecological footprint to help create a better future.
For media enquiries:
Name: Kay Lau
Title: Assistant Manager
Financial Relations Ltd.
Phone: (852) 2114 2239
Name: Emma Fung
Paper Group (Hong Kong) Ltd.
Phone: (852) 2535 2438
electronic version of this press release is now available for download.
Traditional Chinese version: http://www.leo.com.hk/PressRelease_2021GreenAndSustainableFinance/tc/
Simplified Chinese version: http://www.leo.com.hk/PressRelease_2021GreenAndSustainableFinance/sc/
 Each bank will grant a HKD50 million green facility
to Leo Group