World first green bond supports Woolworths sustainability strategy
Green bond market milestone
Woolworths Group has issued the world’s first green bond by a supermarket business to fund its sustainability strategy.
for a supermarket business
The transaction has given us the opportunity to build relationships with a number of new investors who focus on ESG investment such as the CEFC, supporting our objective of diversifying our investor base.David MarrCFO, Woolworths Group
The CEFC secured a $30 million tranche of the $400 million Woolworths Group green bond, launched in April 2019. The bond is backed by a Green Bonds Framework and helps fund the installation of LED lighting, energy efficient refrigeration, solar panels and other clean energy technologies as part of the retailer’s 2020 sustainability strategy.
The Woolworths Group includes well known Australian and New Zealand brands Woolworths, Countdown, Dan Murphy’s, BWS and Big W. It has over 3,000 stores, and more than 200,000 employees. Since 2015, the Group has reduced its emissions by 13 per cent.
The Woolworths green bond, which sets new standards and expectations across the entire retail industry, creates a simple and highly transparent way for the private sector to invest in clean energy technologies. It provides a new asset class for institutional investors who have an increasing appetite for products that meet environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements.
The CEFC’s investment in this bond enables the CEFC to continue its support for Australia’s emerging green bond market, actively monitor the secondary market for green bonds and gain useful insights into the emissions profile of Australia’s supermarkets.
The Climate Bonds Initiative has certified the bonds and has developed a global low-carbon buildings criteria for supermarkets as a result of Woolworths’s commitment to green bonds.