Woolworths Group is aiming to further reduce its environmental impact by becoming the first retailer in Australia, and the first supermarket globally, to issue Green Bonds certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI).
The Bonds support the financing of projects, assets or expenditure that will deliver positive environmental outcomes and are aligned with the Green Bond Principles.
Projects that could be supported by the Bonds include the implementation of energy efficiency initiatives such as the installation of solar panels on the roofs of Woolworths Group stores and distribution centres or the development of low carbon supermarkets.
Woolworths Group Chief Financial Officer David Marr said; “At Woolworths we are continuing to work hard to minimise our long term impact on the environment, and as Australia’s largest retailer we understand we have a responsibility to lead in this space.
“We know the investment community is also looking to support companies committed to sustainability driven projects that minimise environmental impact. The issuing of Green Bonds is another step in meeting our environmental commitment, while allowing our investors to support projects that are important to them.”
Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative said; “We applaud Woolworths for taking further steps to improve their environmental footprint via the issuing of the first certified Green Bonds by a supermarket. Purpose driven investors now have a further opportunity to put their money to work in mitigating long term environmental and carbon risks.
“As a result of Woolworths’ commitment in this space, we have developed a global low-carbon buildings criteria for supermarkets, applicable in multiple jurisdictions. We hope their leadership will encourage other companies, both ASX listed and more widely, to invest further in projects and assets that deliver positive environmental and climate outcomes while also contributing to the development of green finance and Green Bond markets.”
CBI is a not-for-profit organisation that has developed the Climate Bonds Standard which is used globally by bond issuers, governments, investors and the financial markets. The Standard provides clear, scientific criteria for selection and monitoring of assets and projects and the verification of environmental integrity & climate impact of investments. Woolworths Group Green Bonds have been certified and will also be verified by an independent specialist.
Examples of other sustainability projects which Woolworths Group has recently delivered or is in the process of delivering:
- Introduction of the Energy Management Centre to monitor and manage energy consumption
- Energy efficient LED lighting and hybrid or HFC-free refrigeration systems in stores;
- Reduction of plastic on fruit and vegetables.
- The Woolworths Organic Growth Fund