Global biopharmaceutical company Merck, known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, announced today the completion of its inaugural sustainability bond issue, raising $1 billion to support the company’s ESG initiatives and projects. The issue formed part of an $8 billion notes offering by the company.

The offering follows the recent publication by Merck of its Sustainability Financing Framework, outlining eligible uses of capital, as well as criteria for project selection and evaluation, management of proceeds and reporting requirements for sustainability financings by the company. In line with the framework, the company highlighted some of the key areas for investments planned for the offering’s proceeds, including access to essential healthcare services, such as medicines, vaccines and maternal health programs, infectious disease research and development, and socioeconomic advancement and empowerment, particularly for minority and women-owned business enterprise suppliers. Merck also included several environmental sustainability areas including renewable energy generation, energy efficiency expenditures, green buildings, sustainable water and wastewater management, and pollution prevention and control.

Under the framework’s reporting obligations, Merck has committed to providing information regarding the allocation of the proceeds at least annually, and, where feasible, reporting on the estimated social and environmental impacts of projects funded.

Caroline Litchfield, Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Merck, said:

“Today’s announcement is an important step to further integrate ESG into the core of our business, accelerate the achievement of our ESG goals, and measure and continue to be transparent about our progress.”