To further support its sustainability strategy, VodafoneZiggo has published its first Green Bond Framework and will issue its first Green Bond in accordance with this Green Bond Framework. Under this Green Bond Framework VodafoneZiggo can issue Green Bonds to finance projects which support its environmental objects in its transition towards low-carbon climate resilient growth with lower environmental impact. VodafoneZiggo’s first Green Bond was successfully launched and priced on 7 December 2020. Application will be made to list the Green Bonds on the Official List of Euronext Dublin, following the expected settlement of the bonds on 18 December 2020.
VodafoneZiggo’s Green Bond Framework has been certified by Sustainalytics, a global leading company in Environmental Social Governance (ESG) research and ratings, as aligning with the ICMA Green Bond Principles. VodafoneZiggo intends to provide an annual independently audited report on the impact of its investments in its green projects. The Green Bond Framework also aligns with VodafoneZiggo’s new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy entitled ‘People, Planet, Progress’, to halve the environmental footprint of VodafoneZiggo and to improve the lives of two million people in the Netherlands.
VodafoneZiggo CFO Ritchy Drost: “We have taken the next step to realize our CSR strategy by launching our first Green Bond. This financing transaction enables us to continue to invest in green initiatives, supporting our CSR ambition. We have designed a Framework, which gives us the opportunity to execute more green financings going forward. Our Framework has been certified by the leading and global independent ESG research and ratings provider Sustainalytics, providing confidence that we are well positioned to execute our CSR ambitions.”
VodafoneZiggo will finance green projects that will lower its environmental impact in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, eco-efficient products, technology and processes and green buildings. The following examples of green projects that have been selected in accordance with its Green Bond Framework, are a part of VodafoneZiggo’s CSR strategy:
- Investing in the development of Internet of Things, the fixed and mobile networks, customer products and buildings to achieve a 2% energy efficiency improvement every year
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use of 100% wind energy
- Provision of an unlimited public transport card for all employees to encourage and promote the use of public transport
- Implementing measures to reduce E-waste such as refurbishment and recycling of media boxes, modems and mobile phones and the use of eco-friendly packaging
By investing in such green projects, VodafoneZiggo will contribute to the advancement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) related to Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG9), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11) and Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG12).
The first Green Bond to be issued in accordance with the Green Bond Framework consists of €700 million 2.875% Vendor Financing Notes due 2029, of which VodafoneZiggo expects will be issued on 18 December 2020. The proceeds of this Green Bond will be used to redeem €700 million of existing debt and to purchase VodafoneZiggo accounts receivable. The existing debt consists of €600 million 2.5% Vendor Financing Notes due 2024 and €100 million of Vendor Finance bank lines due 2021. In connection with the Green Bond Framework, VodafoneZiggo is committed to invest an amount equal to the net proceeds of the Green Bonds in existing and/or future green projects.
Sustainalytics’ Opinion on the VodafoneZiggo Green Bond Framework
An independent and supportive Second Party Opinion by Sustainalytics on the Green Bond Framework’s environmental credentials has been obtained. In summary, Sustainalytics expects that the green projects funded by the net proceeds or an amount equal to the net proceeds of Green Bonds issued in accordance with the Green Bond Framework will create positive environmental impacts. Sustainalytics: “We believe that the VodafoneZiggo Green Bond Framework is aligned with the overall sustainability strategy of the company and that the green use of proceeds categories will contribute to the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7, 9, 11 and 12. We are confident that VodafoneZiggo is well-positioned to issue Green Bonds and that the VodafoneZiggo Green Bond Framework is robust, transparent, and in alignment with the four core components of the Green Bond Principles 2018.”