Net proceeds will fund sustainability projects
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart entered the green bond market Wednesday with a record-setting $2 billion offering. The giant retailer said that net proceeds from the green bond offering will be used to fund projects designed to help Walmart achieve its sustainability goals.
“It certainly seems like they’re serious about taking a sustainability leadership role within the retail space,” James Rich, a senior portfolio manager at Aegon Asset Management, told Bloomberg, which described the offering as “the largest ever from a U.S. corporation.”
Over the next few years, Walmart intends to allocate an amount equal to the net proceeds of the $2 billion offering 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, according to the company.
Walmart added that it will issue a public report with information on the allocation to and the 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 recognized 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.
Walmart’s green bond is part of $7 billion of new senior unsecured notes that the company successfully priced across 5-, 7-, 10-, 20- and 30-year tranches, the company said.
The company noted that four nationally recognized minority- and women-owned firms — including 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. — were chosen to lead the green bond as active bookrunners. 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.