Global packaged foods company General Mills announced today the launch if its inaugural sustainability-linked bond offering, issuing a $500 million 10-year bond with interest tied to the company’s progress on meeting its climate goals.
According to the company, the offering marks the first to be issued by a U.S. investment grade consumer packaged goods company. General Mills was also the first U.S. CPG company to put in place a sustainability-linked revolving credit facility, announced earlier this year.
Sustainability linked securities and loans are an emerging form of sustainable finance, with attributes including interest payments tied to an issuer’s achievement of key performance indicators (KPIs) and associated sustainability performance targets (SPTs). General Mills’ recently published Sustainability Linked Bond Framework specifies the SPT as the company’s target to reduce Scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 21% by 2025. If the company’s emissions reduction KPI misses its target, the interest owed to bond investors will increase.
Kofi Bruce, chief financial officer, General Mills, said:
“Climate change and its effects are having an impact on our planet, people’s lives and on General Mills’ ability to live out our purpose of making food the world loves. General Mills is focused on reducing emissions across our value chain, and we are making strategic financial investments connected to our sustainability goals to further advance and support this important work.”
Joint book-running managers on the offering included BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and J.P. Morgan.