23-06-2022 14:05

Sustainable financing for Copenhagen’s landmark construction project UN17 Village

Better physical and mental quality of life – that is what Copenhagen’s UN17 Village aims for by meeting, for the first time in the world, all of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals in one construction project. To make the project as sustainable as possible in every aspect, Nordea is financing it with green bonds and green construction loans.
UN17 Village in Copenhagen

A new type of residential property is being built right now at Ørestad in Copenhagen by NREP, a leading real estate investor and innovator in the Nordics. The company is a pioneer of sustainability in real estate and has also created the world’s first 100% recycled concrete building.  

When completed, the five buildings of UN17 Village will host more than 500 apartments grouped around common areas such as a dining house for residents and visitors, a health clinic focusing on residents’ well-being and a health centre, as well as a sharing centre for residents wanting to contribute even more to circular economy. 

Landmark for sustainable construction

The project will be a landmark for sustainable construction, and it has also coincided with considerable development in sustainable financing solutions and products.

“When the project was first presented to us two years ago, we saw that it would require new solutions for both construction as well as financing. Along the way Nordea has developed green bonds and green construction loans which was important to the customer,” says Lasse Clausen, Client Executive in Real Estate East, Business Banking Denmark.

The UN17 Village project will be completed in five stages, with the first two completed during the second quarter of 2023 and the last stage during the fourth quarter of 2024. Nordea will also provide mortgage financing for the project after completion.

“NREP and Nordea have a long-standing relationship and we have done multiple construction projects together across the Nordics. Therefore, when we decided to pursue this pioneering project, collaborating with Nordea for financing was a natural step,” says Martin Schultz Nielsen, Investment Manager, NREP, and elaborates:  

“Having the possibility to go with Nordea’s green construction financing option further supports the vision and ambitions that we have for this project, and we are pleased that Nordea shares our interest in making projects with a strong focus on sustainability possible.”

The Danish Green Investment Fund was onboarded to the project by end-2020 to provide additional funding, as price increases were expected to be in the horizon, and also thanks to their experience in financing other green initiatives.


200 sustainability initiatives

To operationalise the UN’s 17 development goals, these have been clustered in six main categories – biodiversity, community, health, materials, water, energy. Under each of these categories, NREP has evaluated a large set of potential initiatives to find the most impactful measures to implement. Based on significant extra investment, some 200 sustainability initiatives have been selected, which will deliver towards the towering sustainability ambitions for this project.

A specific area of focus is to ensure lowering CO2 consumption in the construction. The CO2 footprint for the entire project will be reduced by 31% thanks to a building system that is largely based on high quality wood, light facades and concrete based on FutureCem, a new type of cement with reduced CO2 emissions.

Source: NREP UN17 Village website.