Google’s parent company Alphabet announced the release its 2021 Sustainability Bond Impact Report, detailing the progress the company has made in allocating funds from its sustainability bonds issue and highlighting the impact of its investments.
The report refers to Alphabet’s issuance last year of $5.75 billion in sustainability bonds, the largest ever corporate sustainability or green bond issue. According to Alphabet’s Sustainability Bond Framework, eligible uses of proceeds from the offering included eight ‘green’ and ‘social’ categories, namely energy efficiency, clean energy, green buildings, clean transportation, circular economy and design, affordable housing, commitment to racial equity, and support for small business and COVID-19 response.
According to the new report, over the past year Alphabet allocated $3.47 billion – slightly over 60% – of the net proceeds from the issue, with approximately $3.2 billion in environmental investments, and the remainder to “social.”
The top category for investment was Clean Energy, with Alphabet allocating $1.28 billion to expenditures and contractual commitments to purchase electricity from renewable energy sources, including 42 renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) across four continents with a combined capacity of approximately 4.4 GW. Alphabet has committed to running its business on 100% carbon-free energy by 2030. In terms of impact, the company estimates that its clean energy investments will avoid nearly 14.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
Close behind Clean Energy, Alphabet allocated $1.25 billion to Green Buildings, through to capital expenditures related to the design, construction, and improvement of seven green building projects totaling nearly 415,000 square meters. The company also allocated $640 million to Energy Efficiency, investing in energy efficient facilities and infrastructure at 2 data center campuses in Belgium and Finland.
On the social front, Alphabet allocated $133 million to finance loans to small businesses, which the company estimates will result in 13,300 loans to historically underserved local businesses, $81 million to initiatives aimed at advancing economic opportunity for the Black community, and $70 million to affordable housing initiatives.
In its report, the company said:
“Our Sustainability Bond helps us operate our business in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Our ultimate goal is to enable everyone— businesses, policymakers, and consumers—to create and live in a more sustainable world. We remain optimistic about our collective ability to come together and chart a more sustainable path forward.”