A small but growing list of shipowners and operators are turning to sustainability-linked financing in a bid to carve out a top tier in a lending world, in which ESG metrics are expected to become de rigueur.

The draw of these loans and bonds for the borrowers on the vanguard is to be able to telegraph commitment to improvement on key ESG metrics, particularly carbon emissions, by agreeing with banks to incentives.

For Odfjell, the Oslo-listed chemical tanker owner that sold shipping’s first sustainability-linked bond last year in a “substantially-oversubscribed” offering, the exercise was a way to show commitment to decarbonisation targets.