US retail giant Walmart announced late last week that it had closed its first green bond, during which time it raised $2bn for use in environmental initiatives in renewable energy, high performance buildings, sustainable transport, zero waste and circular economy, water stewardship, and habitat restoration. Projects to receive funding under the green bond must meet the eligibility criteria of the retailer’s Green Financing Framework, which was published in August this year.
The retailer has set itself the target of net-zero operations by 2040 without offsetting its emissions, as well as sourcing and producing 100% renewable energy at its sites by 2035, and electrifying its transport fleet by 2040.
“The closing of our first-ever green bond offering directs capital toward projects that will advance our environmental sustainability goals now and in the years to come,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Walmart. “Becoming a regenerative company is a journey. This green bond signals that we continue to make headway. We remain steadfast in our commitment to addressing climate change, transitioning to a circular economy and restoring natural ecosystems, all while supporting the communities in which we operate.”
Under the green bond, projects looking to prevent waste and improve recycling throughout the supply chain will receive a portion of the funding, with a particular focus on its packaging.
The company has also made it clear that it will work to assist conservation efforts, with president Doug McMillon announcing at Climate Week NYC that the group was looking to help protect and restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030.
Walmart has said it will release annual public reports on the projects that have received funding under the green bond, as well as impact reporting ‘to support its allocation reporting’. The green bond is part of a $7bn new senior unsecured notes that the company successfully closed this year.