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Woolworths becomes first supermarket globally to issue ‘green bonds’

Woolworths is taking steps to reduce its impact on the environment by becoming the first supermarket globally, and first retailer in Australia to issue Certified Green Bonds.

The Bonds, certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), will allow investors to support projects, assets or expenditure committed to helping the environment, such as the installation of solar panels on store roofs or the development of low carbon supermarkets.

Woolworths has amped up its sustainability efforts in recent years, with energy saving measures underway including the introduction of the Energy Management Centre, HFC-free refrigeration systems and LED lighting. Woolworths Group chief financial officer David Marr said that the retailer is working hard to minimise its long term impact on the environment and has a responsibility as Australia’s largest retailer 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,” Marr said.

The Climate Bonds Standard was developed by CBI for use globally by bond issuers, governments, investors and the financial markets. It provides clear, scientific criteria for selection and monitoring of projects as well as verification of environmental integrity and climate impact.

“We applaud Woolworths for taking further steps to improve their environmental footprint via the issuing of the first certified Green Bonds by a supermarket,” Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative said.

“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.”

Kidney is hopeful that other companies on the ASX and more widely will follow Woolworths’ lead and invest further in projects and assets that deliver positive environmental and climate outcomes and contributes to the development of green finance and Green Bond markets.

This story originally appeared on sister-site Inside FMCG. 

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