The well-known tech leader Apple has issued a bit of uplifting environmental and health investment news. Apple’s head of environmental policy announced the largest green bond to be issued by a US corporation. Reported by Valerie Volcovici for Reuters, this amounts to “$1.5 billion in bonds dedicated to financing clean energy projects across its global business operations.”
Apple reports that all proceeds from the green bond sales will finance “renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency projects, green buildings and resource conservation efforts.”
Lisa Jackson is Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives. (Before this role, she was the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA.) She explains, “This will allow investors to show they will put their money where their hearts and concerns are.”
All of this is completely sane. One wonders why green bonds form only a small fraction of the overall bond market. Perhaps, as suggested by Reuters, that demand will grow fast as wiser investors seek lower-carbon investments.
A bit earlier in the month, CleanTechnica reported that Moody’s expects green bonds issuances of $50 billion in 2016. “The rating agency expects that the recent upswing in the green bond issuance to continue into the next year as well. According to Moody’s, green bonds worth a total of $42.4 billion were issued in 2015.”
Returning to Apple’s news via Reuters, Lisa Jackson said, “he Paris agreement prompted Apple to launch the green bond since hundreds of companies pledged to green their investments at the UN climate summit.”
Apparently, the meaning of green bonds varies significantly (confusion?). The guidelines Apple uses concerning the issued bonds are the Green Bond Principles, fixed by a collective of financial institutions — such as BlackRock Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
“Consultancy Sustainalytics has reviewed Apple’s green bond framework to make sure it meets those standards. Accountancy Ernst & Young will do an annual audit of how the green bond proceeds are used.” According to the news release, Apple plans to move the majority of proceeds within two years.
The market is upbeat. Saurabh Mahapatra reported another good-news story for CleanTechnica regarding the Export-Import Bank of Korea, which recently returned to the global green bonds market after a gap of three years to successfully raise $400 million.
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