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09/23/2021

Walmart Closes Largest-Ever Green Bond

$2B issuance aims to further sustainability goals
Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
Gina Acosta profile picture
Walmart Closes Largest-Ever Green Bond
Walmart's green bond is the largest ever in the U.S. corporate bond market.

Walmart has taken a $2 billion step toward furthering its sustainability goals.

The retailer has closed its inaugural green bond under the company’s Green Financing Framework. The company said net proceeds from the $2 billion issuance will be allocated to fund projects advancing its sustainability goals. 

“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. These goals include achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035 and zero emissions in our operations by 2040,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, EVP and chief sustainability officer, 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.”

Walmart intends to allocate an amount equal to the net proceeds of the $2 billion offering toward a portfolio of Eligible Green Investments within the following Eligible Green Categories:

  • Renewable energy projects, including supporting infrastructure such as micro grids and energy storage to reduce emissions and transition away from fossil fuel use.
  • High performance buildings projects related to making Walmart’s facilities more energy efficient.
  • Sustainable transport projects related to Walmart’s operations, supply chain or customers, such as electric, hydrogen and hybrid vehicles.
  • Zero waste and circular economy projects focused on waste prevention, waste reduction, and waste recycling for Walmart’s facilities, supply chain and in the communities where Walmart operates, including closed-loop material flows and resource-efficient packaging and distribution.
  • Quality and efficient water stewardship projects and technologies, including water efficiency, water conservation and water quality projects such as upgrading water fixtures and irrigation systems, water monitoring and controls, and investment in water harvesting, treatment and recycling infrastructure.
  • Habitat restoration and conservation centered on the preservation, restoration and management of natural landscapes including the protection of coastal, marine and watershed environments.

On an annual basis, Walmart will issue a public report with information on the allocation of bond proceeds to Eligible Green Investments until an amount equal to the net proceeds of the green bond has been allocated. In addition, Walmart will, on a best efforts basis, provide impact reporting to support its allocation reporting.

The green bond is part of $7 billion of new senior unsecured notes that the company successfully closed across 5-, 7-, 10-, 20- and 30-year tranches.

Leading the green bond as active bookrunners were four nationally recognized minority- and women-owned firms, including African-American and service-disabled veteran-owned AmeriVet Securities, Inc., women-owned C.L. King & Associates, Inc., Hispanic-owned Samuel A. Ramirez & Company, Inc. and African American- and women-owned Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC. BofA Securities, Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC also served as active bookrunners on the green bond. BofA Securities was the Green Structuring Agent, while Citigroup Global Markets served as Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator.

“Walmart is committed to furthering our relationships with minority owned businesses, and we’re pleased that our inaugural green offering included the work of four nationally recognized minority- and women-owned investment banking firms,” said Brett Biggs, EVP and CFO, Walmart. “Their support is helping to drive both financial and sustainable benefits that we believe will drive positive societal and total shareholder returns.”

Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores under 48 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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