There is at least one thing that Ardmore Shipping’s outgoing chief financial officer will not be leaving on his desk for his successor to deal with: a pile of financial leases.

With $308m-worth of refinancings announced in the company’s second-quarter earnings report, the New York-listed product tanker owner has cut its lease-financed fleet from 14 vessels at the start of the year to just two ships today, chief executive Anthony Gurnee told analysts.

And amid the shift away from leases, it has moved deeper into sustainability-linked finance, with environmental and social targets on all three of the new bank loans.

“The refinancing is hugely advantageous for the company,” said Paul Tivnan, whose departure as Ardmore chief financial officer was announced on Wednesday after TradeWinds first reported the change.

“It is allowing us to eliminate the expensive leases.”

Tivnan, who will be replaced by Chembulk Tankers chief executive Bart Kelleher, said the reduced credit spread on the new loans will save $2.2m per year.

As TradeWinds reported, two of the loans refinance a total of 19 vessels, with a $185m revolving credit facility from Nordea and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, or SEB Group, tackling 12 ships and a $108m term loan with ABN Amro and Credit Agricole covering seven tankers.

The third loan is a $15m receivables facility with ABN Amro, set to mature in 2025, that replaces the company’s current receivables facility.

Ardmore was among an early wave of shipowners trumpeting bank financing with sustainability-linked financing, and Tivnan has said he sees such loans as a stepping stone to a day when virtually all shipping industry bank financing will have environmental, social and governance metrics.

In the latest conference call with investors, he said the sustainability features of the new debt will increase or reduce the interest rate by just five basis points, depending on meeting the environmental and social targets.

It is just 0.05 percentage points but that is the market rate for sustainability-linked financing.

But the outgoing CFO urged analysts to focus on the strong overall pricing of the loans — with the sustainability features serving as the ticket to top-tier financing.

“I think when you think about sustainability-linked loans or if you think about the way the shipping finance market is going, if you want to get access to attractive funding — well-priced funding from top-tier banks — you have to show your credentials on sustainability and sign up to some pretty robust targets in terms of where you want to go to in your carbon reduction,” Tivnan said.