The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Apple Issues Largest Ever Green Bond by U.S. Company
As part of its ongoing efforts to minimize its environmental footprint, Apple has issued $1.5 billion in bonds that will finance sustainable business projects. This is the largest ever "green bond" issued by a U.S. corporation.
The bond—rated Aa1 (or high quality and very low credit risk) by bond rating agency Moodys—pays 2.85 percent over seven years, Sustainable Business noted. The bond is part of an overall package of $10-$12 billion worth of new bonds Apple is selling.
For the uninitiated, this green bond means Apple is specifically raising money from investors to spend on environmentally friendly projects. As any debt instrument goes, Apple will pay investors back with interest. Here is where the funds will go, according to the bond's prospectus:
- New and ongoing renewable energy projects, such as solar and wind projects, or associated energy storage solutions
- Green building expenditures such as certification of LEED Gold or Platinum or BREEAM Very Good, Excellent, or Outstanding standards
- The implementation of environmental design elements for new or ongoing building developments, such as high performance mechanical systems, natural ventilation, on-site renewable energy and high performance lighting systems
- Energy efficiency projects and technologies at Apple's corporate facilities, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems upgrades, lighting retrofits and energy monitors and controls
- Water efficiency projects and technologies at our corporate facilities, such as upgrades to water efficient fixtures and water efficient irrigation and increased use of recycled water
- Projects that enhance recycling, material recovery and reuse, and landfill waste diversion for our products and facilities
- Projects and technologies that facilitate the use of greener materials in our products
"This will allow investors to show they will put their money where their hearts and concerns are," Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, told Reuters.
Although the global green bond market is still taking baby steps in the financial world, the market is "growing rapidly," as Big Four accounting firm KPMG pointed out. Market Watch reported that November "was the strongest month on record for global green-bond issuance, with $7.39 billion in new bonds."
But what exactly makes a green bond, "green"? Well, it's unclear. As KPMG said, there is "little consensus on define criteria for green bonds" and issuers can face criticism and accusations of "greenwashing."
Apple is said to be following the Green Bond Principles established by a group of financial institutions including BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase. Such guidelines include second party consultation (for example a climate expert), publicly available reviews and audits, and third party, independent verification/certification.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.
The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
By George Citroner
- Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
- Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
- Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.
Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.