The City of Vancouver’s inaugural sustainability bond was the first from a Canadian governmental issuer.
Proceeds of the C$100 million ($81 million) bond are supporting eligible projects such as green buildings, renewal and upgrade of the main sewer and a fire hall, street and bridge infrastructure, an accessibility programme to provide access to essential services, a climate emergency response programme and a seawall maintenance programme.
It will help support the City’s sustainability goals of halving carbon emissions by 2030 and hitting carbon neutrality by 2050, as well as being a zero-waste city by 2040 and a commitment to affordable housing.
Thirty five investors participated in the issue, which was almost four-times oversubscribed, with 83% having environmental, social and governance funds or being UN Principle for Responsible Investment (PRI) signatories.
“Social, economic, and environmental sustainability are long-term values that are championed through a wide range of strategies and initiatives,” said Patrice Impey, chief financial officer at the City of Vancouver. “The City’s sustainability bond, the first for any Canadian government, offers an investment tool that supports our efforts to build sustainable infrastructure for many generations.”
Issued in October, the City had previously released its Sustainability Bond Framework, which second opinion provider Sustainalytics defined as credible, impactful and aligned with the Sustainability Bond Guidelines. The framework builds on the City’s Green Bond Framework, which was established in 2018.
“We found this issue to be impressive, as the first sustainability bond by a Canadian government issuer, and believe it will pave the way for future issuance in the sector,” commented one of the awards judges, while another added it was “pioneering” and “innovative”.
Issuer: City of Vancouver
Instrument: Sustainability bond
Issue size: $81 million
Maturity date: 5 November 2031
Settlement date: 25 October 2021
Lead managers: BMO Capital Markets, CIBC, TD Securities
Use of Proceeds: Green buildings, energy efficiency, sustainable water management, pollution prevention
External review/Second opinion: Sustainalytics
Credit rating: S&P (AAA) Moody's (Aaa)
Principles/Guidelines: Sustainability Bond Principles