General Mills has issued its inaugural sustainability-linked bond aligned to the company’s efforts to combat climate change.
The 10-year, $500 million sustainability-linked bond is tied to measurable improvements on the pathway to its commitment to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 30% across its value chain by 2030, the company added.
General Mills has linked the coupon of the bond to the performance against the company’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goal.
The interest owed to bond investors will increase if the company fails to reach the interim reduction targets (Scope 1 and 2) by 2025.
Company initiatives to reduce carbon emissions include energy efficiency at plant locations, shifts to renewable electricity, and continued pursuit of other innovations.
Kofi Bruce, chief financial officer of General Mills, said, "Climate change and its effects are having an impact on our planet, people’s lives, and on General Mills’ ability to live out our purpose of making food the world loves.
"General Mills is focused on reducing emissions across our value chain, and we are making strategic financial investments connected to our sustainability goals to further advance and support this important work."
The group structured its bond to align with International Capital Market Association’s Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles 2020.
The consumer goods giant published a Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework, which can be found on the company’s website, and obtained a second party opinion on the framework from ISS ESG.
An external verification from a qualified third party on General Mills’ performance will be made public annually, and the emissions data will be communicated through the company’s Global Responsibility Report, the company added.
BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as joint book-running managers on the offering. BNP Paribas Securities Corp. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC were the Co-Sustainability Coordinators to the group.
Science-Based Target Initiative
In 2015, General Mills set a greenhouse gas reduction commitment approved by the Science-Based Target Initiative across its full value chain, from farm to fork to landfill.
Earlier this year, General Mills became the first US consumer packaged goods company to enter into a sustainability-linked revolving credit facility, which included a pricing structure tied to progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and purchasing renewable energy certificates to cover electricity usage.
Household names owned by the group include Cheerios, Nature Valley, Blue Buffalo, Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Annie’s, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, and more.