Apple almost doubles green bond offers after £1.7bn fund launch

Apple’s green bond offerings now total £3.7bn ($4.5bn)

Apple’s new $2.2bn green bond will focus on global projects that will lower carbon emissions from Apple’s operation and across the lifecycle of its products, the bond has been evaluated externally by Sustainalytics. Apple has already decreased its comprehensive carbon footprint by 35% in the past three years.

The company has already completed $2.5bn in previous green bond allocations that have contributed to 40 environmental projects. Apple has covered approximately 66% of the renewable energy it uses from the offerings. Apple’s green bond offerings now total £3.7bn ($4.5bn).

Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, said: “Apple is unwavering in its commitment to addressing the urgent threat of climate change. The time for action is now. By issuing an additional $2.2bn in green bonds, we will accelerate our work to lower carbon emissions across our supply chain and beyond, building on our successful transition to 100% renewable energy.

“Apple’s progress is proof positive that businesses don’t have to choose between what’s right for the planet and a healthy bottom line.”

Having already powered 100% of its global facilities across 43 countries with renewable energy, Apple has been targeting uptake of clean energy in the supply chain since 2015.

The company is on track to exceed its 2020 ambition of delivering 4GW of renewable energy into its supply chain, with 44 key suppliers having joined its Supplier Clean Energy Programme since the initiative launched in 2015. The programme lowered Apple’s carbon footprint by nearly 3.6 million metric tons compared to last year.

The programme has contributed to an overall reduction of Apple’s entire carbon footprint (including scope 3) of 35% since it peaked in 2015. Operational emissions have also been slashed by 64% since 2011.

Of the renewable energy projects Apple has helped create, the company has direct ownership for more than 600MW, making it among the largest non-energy company investors in renewables.

edie published an exclusive interview with Lisa Jackson, detailing how the company is promoting clean energy and the circular economy to suppliers. Read the piece here.

Green bonds

As for green bonds, sustainable investing is finally becoming mainstream, with some of the world’s largest investment firms now addressing climate risks.

BlackRock’s insights report revealed that around $760bn (£581bn) was invested in dedicated sustainable funds across the US and Europe last year, up from $453bn (£346) in 2013. To facilitate this increased demand for green finance products, more than 100 new sustainable mutual funds were reportedly launched in the US alone between 2015 and 2017.

The report also charts the progress made in 2018 by financial products with ethical or social sustainability measures (ESG) against those which did not. In the US, annual returns for ESG-focused equity benchmarks was 14.5%, compared with 14.4% for those without any ESG credentials. The difference across the rest of the world, meanwhile, stood at 8.1% vs 7.7%.

US-based financial services giant Moody’s Investor Services annual client predicts g a 20% year-on-year increase in US-based green bond issuance, following sharp market growth in 2016 and 2017 but slower progress in 2018.

Matt Mace

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