Following on the heels of last year's $1 billion green bond, Verizon issued a second green bond on Wednesday for the same amount. The offering is expected to close on Friday.
Verizon plans to use the net proceeds of the second $1 billion offering primarily for long-term renewable energy purchase agreements, which support the construction of solar and wind facilities that will bring new renewable energy to the grids that power its networks.
Verizon has been active on the green initiative and renewable energy fronts. On Earth Day last year, Verizon announced that it would go carbon neutral by 2035 in terms of all sources of emissions owned or controlled by Verizon and all sources of emissions purchased by Verizon. It's also looking to source or generate renewable energy that's equivalent to 50% of its total annually electricity consumption by 2024.
Verizon said it was committed to integrating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including:
• Affordable and clean energy
• Decent work and economic growth
• Climate action
• Peace, justice and strong institutions.
Verizon's second green bond will support all of the above efforts.
For the second green bond, Verizon used two nationally known African-American-owned investment banking firm—Loop Capital Markets and Siebert Williams Shank—as the lead underwriters. Citigroup and BofA Securities were also lead underwriters.
“Verizon’s second green bond affirms our commitment to take responsibility for protecting the environment, and Verizon remains the only U.S. telecommunications company to have completed a Green Bond," said Matt Ellis, Verizon’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. "While Verizon has had a long history of partnering with diversity firms on capital market transactions, today marks an important milestone as we partner with minority- and women-owned firms as lead underwriters to execute such an important transaction for Verizon.
“Verizon is very committed to promoting racial equity across all spectrums, including in the capital markets. We hope that other issuers follow our lead and take action to address structural inequity and economic disparity faced by African-American and other minority- and women-owned businesses.”
Last month, Verizon issued its Green Bond Report, which provided details on the full allocation of the nearly $1 billion of net proceeds from the first green bond. Allocations related to the green bond included $637 million to renewable energy, $319 million to green buildings, $37 million to energy efficiency and $1 million to biodiversity and conservation.
In June, Verizon, Infosys and Reckitt Benckiser became the first global companies to sign up for Amazon's Climate Pledge that was first announced in September.
Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change 10 years ahead of schedule. The Paris Agreement has targeted 2050 while the Climate Pledge has set a goal of being carbon neutral by 2040.
The telecommunications industry has ramped up its renewable energy and green initiatives over the past few years. In June, Telefónica, which also announced a green bond last year, said it planned to reach its target of zero emissions across four main markets by 2030 instead of 2050.
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