In a move it says underscores a commitment to sustainability as a driver of its financial goals, Ahold Delhaize has issued a bond providing about $684 million (600 million euros) to be used for procurement of sustainably produced products, reduction of climate impact and promoting healthier eating.
The Dutch retailer said the transaction makes it the first retailer to issue a euro-denominated Sustainability Bond, proceeds for which will be used to finance Ahold Delhaize’s new or existing environmentally friendly projects and community initiatives. These projects support the company’s “healthy and sustainable” growth driver as part of its Leading Together strategy.
“The issuance of our first Sustainability Bond is a vital step in creating and sharing sustainable value for all stakeholders,” Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller said in a statement. “It not only can have a positive environmental and social impact, it also helps us accelerate our promise to help our customers and communities eat well, save time and live better.”
“We want to be the leading sustainable retailer in our markets, and are committed to making healthier choices easier for our customers, improving sustainability of our products, reducing food waste and plastic impacts, and reducing carbon emissions,” Megan Hellstedt, VP of sustainable retailing, said in a blog post. “The proceeds of the bond will help us achieve this by targeting investments in exactly these areas.”
Proceeds from the six-year bond will go toward supporting procurement of sustainably produced products, including coffee, tea, cocoa and seafood, and for expenditures associated with the development of an urban rooftop farm to grow vegetables at a store in Boondael in the Netherlands.
Reduction of climate impacts will be supported through investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency projects, green buildings and pollution prevention. Healthier eating initiatives to be supported by bond proceeds include reformulation of private brands and support of rating systems, including Guiding Stars in the U.S.