Telecom giant Verizon announced today that it has completed allocation of the nearly $1 billion raised in its first green bond issue last year. In a related release, the company also announced that it has entered four new renewable energy purchase agreements (REPAs) for more than 450 MW.
James Gowen, Verizon’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President, Supply Chain Operations, said:
“In 2019 Verizon issued a $1 billion green bond to help fund the company’s sustainability efforts, including our initiative to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to at least 50% of our total annual electricity consumption by 2025. Bringing this additional renewable energy to the grids where Verizon consumes energy is an important step towards meeting this commitment.”
According to Verizon’s 2020 Green Bond Report, nearly two thirds of the proceeds from the company’s 2019 offering have gone towards renewable energy. An additional $319 million was allocated to green buildings for the development of a 446,000 square foot LEED platinum facility at Boston’s The Hub on Causeway, with the remainder going towards energy efficiency projects, as well as biodiversity and conservation efforts.
The new energy purchase agreements include two 12-year REPAs with Brookfield Renewable for an aggregate of up to 160 MW of capacity at two New York-based wind energy facilities. The facilities are expected to be operational in 2021. Additionally, Verizon signed two 15-year agreements with First Solar, for an aggregate of up to 296 MW of capacity from two solar facilities that are under development in the PJM Interconnection regional market. The First Solar facilities are expected to enter into commercial operation in late 2022, and will use First Solar’s lowest carbon footprint solar modules.
Combined with REPAs Verizon signed earlier this year, the company has entered into power agreements for nearly 840 MW of renewable energy. The agreements represent a significant step in the company’s commitment, made in July 2020, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Earlier this year, Verizon also joined The Climate Pledge, an initiative co-founded by Amazon and climate change organization Global Optimism, calling on signatories to achieve net zero carbon across their businesses 10 years ahead of the Paris Accord’s 2050 target.