VF Corporation has fully allocated the net proceeds from its inaugural green bond issued last year, which totalled about EUR493m (US$594.8m), to 13 of the group’s eligible sustainability projects worldwide.
The owner of brands including The North Face, Timberland and Vans, says the proceeds helped to deliver meaningful positive environmental impacts through the projects, including 2m trees planted, about 16,000 metric tonnes of CO2e avoided annually through procurement of sustainable materials, and more than 970m litres of water saved annually through conservation initiatives.
“We take great pride in being the first company in the apparel and footwear industry to issue a green bond,” says Scott Roe, executive vice president and CFO for VF. “We believe that business success and environmental stewardship are closely linked together, demonstrated by the success of this effort which has enabled us to advance progress toward achieving our science-based targets while also strengthening our business for the long term. We hope our success will inspire others in our industry and beyond to pursue similar initiatives.”
VF issued its inaugural green bond, the first for the apparel and footwear industry, in February 2020. The allocation of the green bond net proceeds was an important step in VF’s implementation of its Made for Change sustainability and responsibility strategy, which supports the company’s business objectives with actions that improve lives and protect the planet.
VF says its use of the green bond proceeds demonstrates its commitment to three key sustainability areas that are core to its business: sustainable products and materials; sustainable operations and supply chain; and, natural carbon sinks. In addition, the net proceeds support projects that align with key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 9 – Industry Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production; and, SDG 15 – Life on Land.
To provide transparency for its green bond initiative, VF has published a Green Bond Impact Report, which includes a complete breakdown of allocated proceeds and select metrics and achievements of related projects.
VF’s green bond was issued in accordance with the ICMA Green Bond Principles (GBP) 2018, while its framework was reviewed by Sustainalytics, a leading global provider of sustainability research and services that issued a second-party opinion declaring that the framework is credible and impactful.