Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Green bond of the year - corporate (Americas): Air Products

With a same-day Euro and USD-denominated issue, Air Products' $1.34 billion bond targeted green and blue hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel.

Proceeds from the bond will be used for the development, construction, and installation of projects and assets for green and blue hydrogen and ammonia production. Eligible blue hydrogen products are limited to those with emissions intensity 60% lower than the conventional alternative. Captured CO2 from blue hydrogen production is excluded from use in enhanced oil recovery processes.

Proceeds may also be used for sustainable aviation fuel with a resulting lifecycle emissions intensity of 50% to 75% less than a conventional aircraft fuel, as well as wind and solar power generation.

"Air Products is honoured to be the first US chemical company to issue bond offerings with green and blue hydrogen as an eligible expenditure category. The favourable response from the financial community validates growing sustainably through offerings that benefit our customers and our world," said Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products' chairman, president and CEO.

The deal was the first under Air Product's green finance framework, published in 2023 and developed with SMBC as co-global coordinator and co-green structuring agent.

"We're proud to have co-led a successful bond issuance that reinforced Air Products' leading position in advancing the clean energy transition, while leveraging SMBC Group's global sustainable finance platform," added Aaron Franklin, head of sustainable finance at SMBC Americas division.

"This was a very innovative green deal and I like that it is taking the hydrogen angle because that isn't a space with a lot of other green deals. Working on greening the aerospace fuel industry is very important," commented one Sustainable Debt Awards judge. "I appreciate that they got a second party opinion from Sustainalytics also."

Another described it as an "ambitious green bond with significant scale and material connection to sustainability strategy".

Deal highlights

Issuer: Air Products
Size: $1.34 billion (€700 million + $600 million)
Maturity: February 2035, 2033
Coupon: 4.0%, 4.8%
Use of proceeds: Green and blue hydrogen and ammonia, renewable energy and sustainable aviation fuel
External reviewer: Sustainalytics
Lead managers: SMBC Nikko, Citigroup
Credit rating: A2 (Moody’s) A (S&P)