Mars unveils $500m sustainability bond to help with net-zero goals
Mars has confirmed that $500m has been raised for its latest sustainability bond, which will support eligible projects across renewables, carbon sequestration, circular economy and more, as the company builds towards its net-zero ambitions.
The $500m sustainability bond builds into a wider offering of $.25bn of senior notes in bond offerings, which has been completed.
Mars has confirmed that the sustainability bond will support “eligible projects” across the themes of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable water and wastewater management, pollution prevention and control, green buildings, management of living natural resources and land use; carbon sequestration and the circular economy.
Mars Incorporated’s chief financial officer Claus Aagaard said: “The situation facing our planet is urgent. That means that now more than ever, businesses must stand for more than just maximizing profit and take real action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and to protect the future for coming generations.
“Finance is at the heart of this pursuit: we cannot uncouple sustainability from financial performance, rather the two are mutually reinforcing. We are proud to have today completed this bond offering, which will help us to meet our science-based targets set as part of our Sustainable in a Generation Plan and help finance other projects that contribute to a more sustainable future.”
Mars has committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its full value chain by 2050, building on an existing commitment to reach net-zero across operations by 2040.
The company is setting five-year milestones to drive climate action and is linking executive pay to decarbonisation. An existing pledge to end deforestation in its supply chains will also help deliver on the net-zero ambition.
The net-zero commitment builds on the existing Sustainable in a Generation Plan, and expands on previous pledges to reduce value chain emissions by 67% by 2050 and 27% by 2025. Since 2015, the company has reduced its value chain emissions by more than 7%, despite growing the business. For direct operations, emissions have fallen by 31% and Mars is on track to reach an interim target of 42% by 2025.
Sustainability-linked loans are helping bridge the historic communications gap between sustainability and finance, as explained by Holcim’s chief sustainability officer Magali Anderson and chief financial officer Géraldine Picaud.
Holcim is one of many firms to have ventured down the route of linking sustainability performance to financial implications. The likes of Kingfisher, Kingspan, AB InBev, Thai Union and Tesco, which is now also supporting suppliers to follow suit, have all announced similar loans.