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September 13, 2021

Walmart issues inaugural $2bn green bond

Walmart Inc has successfully priced the company's first green bond and says net proceeds from the US$2bn offering will be used to fund existing and future projects that enable the US retail giant to achieve its sustainability goals.

By Beth Wright

Over the next few years, Walmart intends to allocate an amount equal to the net proceeds of the $2bn green bond toward a portfolio of Eligible Green Investments that meet certain eligibility criteria within the areas of renewable energy, high-performance buildings, sustainable transport, zero waste and circular economy, water stewardship, and habitat restoration and conservation.

Walmart will issue a public report with information on allocation to and estimated impact of the Eligible Green Investments on an annual basis until an amount equal to the net proceeds of the green bond has been allocated.

An outside consultant with recognised expertise in environmental, social, and governance research and analysis has issued, and made publicly available, a second party opinion in respect of the alignment of eligibility criteria of the type described above with the Green Bond Principles, and the company’s external auditor EY will provide an assurance report on each allocation report.

The green bond is part of $7bn of new senior unsecured notes that the company successfully priced across five-, seven-, year-, 20- and 30-year tranches.

Leading the green bond as active bookrunners were four nationally recognised minority- and women-owned firms including African-American and service-disabled veteran-owned AmeriVet Securities, Inc, women-owned C. King & Associates, Inc, Hispanic-owned Samuel A Ramirez & Company, In. and African American- and women-owned Siebert Williams Shank & Co, LLC.

BofA Securities, Inc, Citigroup Global Markets Inc and Morgan Stanley & Co LLC also served as active bookrunners on the green bond. BofA Securities, Inc was the Green Structuring Agent, while Citigroup Global Markets Inc served as Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator.

A number of companies in the apparel industry have recently issued green or sustainability-linked bonds.

Earlier this year, H&M Group issued a EUR500m (US$607m) sustainability-linked bond that is aligned to targets such as increasing the share of recycled materials used to 30% by 2025.

While VF Corp said in February it has fully allocated the net proceeds from its inaugural green bond issued last year, which totalled about EUR493m to 13 of the group’s eligible sustainability projects worldwide.

 

 

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