Walmart Announces the Closing of the First $2 Billion Green Bond Issue

Published on: 22 September 2021
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The proceeds from the sale will go toward supporting Walmart's efforts to become more sustainable and will be invested in a portfolio of eligible green investments.

Walmart Inc. announced today the completion of its previously announced $2 billion inaugural green bond offering. The net proceeds will be used to fund current and future projects that will help Walmart achieve its sustainability goals.

The green bond is Walmart's first offering under the company's Green Financing Framework, which was published in August 2021 and details the company's alignment with the International Capital Markets Association's 2021 Green Bond Principles (ICMA).

“The closing of our first-ever green bond offering directs capital toward projects that will advance our environmental sustainability goals now and in the years to come. These goals include achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035 and zero emissions in our operations by 2040,”

Said Kathleen McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart.

“Becoming a regenerative company is a journey. This green bond signals that we continue to make headway. We remain steadfast in our commitment to addressing climate change, transitioning to a circular economy and restoring natural ecosystems, all while supporting the communities in which we operate.”

Walmart plans to invest the net proceeds of the $2 billion offering in a portfolio of Eligible Green Investments in the following Eligible Green Categories:

Renewable energy projects, including supporting infrastructure like microgrids and energy storage, are being developed to reduce emissions and transition away from the use of fossil fuels.

Projects involving high performance buildings in order to make Walmart's facilities more energy efficient. Electric, hydrogen, and hybrid vehicles are examples of sustainable transportation projects related to Walmart's operations, supply chain, or customers.

Waste prevention, waste reduction, and waste recycling projects for Walmart's facilities, supply chain, and communities where Walmart operates, including closed-loop material flows and resource-efficient packaging and distribution.

Water efficiency, conservation, and quality projects such as upgrading water fixtures and irrigation systems, water monitoring and controls, and investment in water harvesting, treatment, and recycling infrastructure are examples of quality and efficient water stewardship projects and technologies.

The preservation, restoration, and management of natural landscapes, including the protection of coastal, marine, and watershed environments, are central to habitat restoration and conservation.

Walmart will publish an annual report detailing the allocation of bond proceeds to Eligible Green Investments until an amount equal to the net proceeds of the green bond has been allocated. Furthermore, Walmart will provide impact reporting to supplement its allocation reporting on a best-efforts basis.

The green bond is one of $7 billion in new senior unsecured notes that the company successfully closed in five, seven, ten, twenty, and thirty-year tranches.

Four nationally recognized minority- and women-owned firms led the green bond as active bookrunners: African-American and service-disabled veteran-owned AmeriVet Securities, Inc., women-owned C.L. King & Associates, Inc., Hispanic-owned Samuel A. Ramirez & Company, Inc., and African-American- and women-owned Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC. Active bookrunners on the green bond included BofA Securities, Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. The Green Structuring Agent was BofA Securities, Inc., and the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator was Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

“Walmart is committed to furthering our relationships with minority owned businesses, and we’re pleased that our inaugural green offering included the work of four nationally recognized minority- and women-owned investment banking firms,”

said Brett Biggs, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Walmart.

“Their support is helping to drive both financial and sustainable benefits that we believe will drive positive societal and total shareholder returns.”

Walmart has a comprehensive ESG strategy and is committed to initiatives under the pillars of Opportunity, Sustainability, Community and Ethics & Integrity.

Climate change has been a top sustainability priority at Walmart since 2005, and the company has worked for more than a decade to reduce and avoid emissions throughout its operations and beyond.

Walmart was the first retailer to announce a science-based emissions target in 2016, with the goal of reducing emissions in its operations and supply chains. In 2020, Walmart increased its ambition to reduce operational emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) by realigning its science-based target to a 1.5-degree Celsius trajectory, the highest ambition approved by the Science-based Targets Initiative. Walmart's goal is to achieve zero emissions across all of its global operations by 2040, with absolute scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions reduced by 35% by 2025 and 65% by 2030 from a 2015 baseline. Walmart was the first retailer in the United States to commit to zero emissions without relying on carbon offsets.

To support these goals, Walmart intends to supply 100% renewable energy to its global operations by 2035, electrify and zero out emissions from all of its vehicles, including long-haul trucks, by 2040, and transition to low-impact refrigerants for its facilities by 2040.

Walmart launched Project GigatonTM in 2017 with its suppliers to avoid one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gas emissions in the global value chain by 2030 by focusing on areas such as energy use, product design and use, waste, and packaging.

Source: Walmart newsroom

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