Tesco launches first sustainability linked bond and commits to going green

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Photo credit: Tesco Plc

Tesco has launched a bond that, for the first time, is linked to the Company’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Tesco was the first business globally to set a zero-carbon goal in 2009 and later the first FTSE 100 Company to set science-based carbon reduction targets on a 1.5-degree trajectory. The company says the launch of their first sustainability-linked bond further demonstrates the strength of their commitment to reduce their impact on the environment and become a net zero carbon business in the UK by 2035.

The €750m bond with a 0.375% coupon offers an 8.5-year maturity and is the first bond of its kind to be issued by a retailer.

The company state: “It is an important step in setting tangible incentives for our environmental and social performance and follows the announcement in October 2020, that Tesco established a £2.5bn revolving credit facility, with interest linked to the achievement of three ambitious environmental targets.”

The bond is aligned to an agreed Sustainability Performance Target (SPT) of reducing Scope 1 and 2 Group Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions by 60% by 2025 against Tesco’s 2015 Baseline.

As Tesco work towards their targets, they have already achieved a 50% reduction in Group GHG emissions against a 2015 baseline as well as sourcing 97%1 of electricity from renewable sources. In November 2020, they announced a partnership with Low Carbon to create three new solar farms and introduced a new fleet of electric delivery vehicles in London as part of their plan to go fully electric by 2030.

The bond will be aligned to Tesco’s newly introduced Sustainability-Bond Framework, which follows the ICMA Sustainability-Linked Bond principles, and has been independently assessed by Sustainalytics.

Tesco say they have always taken a transparent approach to reporting progress and targets for environmental and sustainable goals. A statement on their website says: “Our Little Helps Plan captures the approach we take to be a responsible and sustainable business and enables us to demonstrate, monitor and improve our performance, both within our own operations and in the wider supply chain.”

Alan Stewart, CFO, Tesco adds: “I’m delighted that we have issued our first sustainability-linked bond. Linking our financial strategy to our long-term commitment to tackle sustainability is an important step in ensuring that this commitment is embedded across all our business operations and ensures we are driving continuous improvement.

“We are proud to be making good progress on our journey to be a net zero carbon business in the UK by 2035 and for the entire Group by 2050.”

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