Canadian telecommunications company Bell Canada announced today the launch of its inaugural sustainability bond issue, with a C$500 million offering of 2.2% medium term notes, maturing in 2028. According to Bell, the offering marks a sustainable finance first for the Canadian telecom industry.
The new bond is being issued under Bell’s parent company BCE’s newly released Sustainable Financing Framework, which outlines eligible use of proceeds, project evaluation and selection criteria, management of proceeds and reporting requirements. According to the framework, projects eligible for financing from sustainability bond proceeds fall under ten categories, including Energy Efficiency, Eco-Efficient Products, Pollution Prevention and Control, Clean Transportation, Renewable Energy, Green Buildings, Climate Change Adaptation, Affordable Basic Infrastructure, Access to Essential Services, and Emergency Response and Pandemic Relief.
As the proceeds are invested, the company will report annually on the amount of proceeds allocated to each eligible category, including at least one example of green or social investments for each category, the proceeds remaining to be allocated, and impact metrics, where possible.
Commenting on the recent release of the framework, Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, said:
“Our commitment to environmental sustainability and investments in our customers, our team and the communities we serve is critical to Bell’s goal to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world. Our Sustainable Financing Framework is a concrete step to ensure the highest ESG standards are reflected in all our sustainable financing initiatives as part of a holistic approach across our business.”