Telecom giant Verizon announced the launch of a $1 billion green bond offering, its third since its initial green bond issue in 2019.
The new offering follows the release last month by the company of its Green Bond Impact Report, indicating that Verizon had completed the allocation of its second $1 billion green bond, with proceeds primarily targeting long-term renewable energy purchase agreements to support the construction of solar and wind facilities and bring new renewable energy to the grids that power the company’s networks. The investments are aimed at helping Verizon pursue its strategy to minimize environmental impact by adding renewable energy generation capacity to its power grids and avoiding GHG emissions associated with fossil fuel energy generation. Verizon has pledged to reach carbon neutrality by 2035.
Proceeds from the new offering are also expected to be allocated towards renewable energy. According to Matt Ellis, Verizon’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, the company has entered into fourteen VPPAs for nearly 1.9 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity over the past two years, positioning Verizon as one of the leading corporate buyers of renewable energy in the U.S.
“These investments are consistent with our commitments in support of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to 50% of our total annual electricity consumption by 2025, and to be net-zero in our operational emissions by 2035 (scope 1 and 2 emissions).”
For the new offering, Verizon added sustainability and diversity-focused underwriting selection criteria to its Green Bond Framework, requiring firms to have met at least one of the criteria, including establishing commitments to the UN SDGs, being a diverse-owned firm, and having a core mission of promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Lead underwriters on the deal included minority- and women-owned firms Loop Capital Markets, Ramirez & Co., Inc. and Siebert Williams Shank, as well as Morgan Stanley.
Jim Reynolds, Chairman and CEO, Loop Capital Markets, said:
“Loop Capital is thrilled to partner with Verizon as an active lead underwriter on its third green bond issuance. With this transaction, and the innovations it has incorporated into its sustainability framework, Verizon continues to demonstrate that it is at the forefront of the industry and a true leader in ESG. Verizon continues to embody the most powerful elements of global corporate citizenship by taking responsibility in protecting the environment and by promoting and advancing the capabilities of minority- and women-owned firms as lead underwriters.”