MINNEAPOLIS – General Mills has taken on its first sustainability-linked bond aligned to the company’s efforts to combat climate change. The 10-year, $500 million bond is tied to measurable improvements on the company’s commitment to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 30% across its value chain by 2030, Minneapolis-based General Mills said.
The interest owed to bond investors will increase if General Mills fails to reach interim reduction targets for scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions by 2025. Scope 1 GHG emissions, which include on-site fossil fuel consumption and fleet fuel consumption, are direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by a company, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Scope 2 GHG emissions are indirect emissions from sources owned or controlled by a company. They include the generation of electricity, heat or steam purchased by the company from a utility provider.
General Mills’ initiatives to reduce carbon emissions include energy efficiency at plant locations and shifts to renewable electricity.
“Climate change and its effects are having an impact on our planet, people’s lives and on General Mills’ ability to live out our purpose of making food the world loves,” said Kofi Bruce, chief financial officer at General Mills. “General Mills is focused on reducing emissions across our value chain, and we are making strategic financial investments connected to our sustainability goals to further advance and support this important work.”
General Mills structured its bond to align with International Capital Market Association’s sustainability-linked bond principles 2020. General Mills published a sustainability-linked bond framework, which can be found at www.generalmills.com, and obtained a second party-opinion on the framework from ISS ESG. An external verification from a third party on General Mills’ performance will be made public annually. General Mills’ global responsibility report will give emissions data. BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as joint book-running managers on the offering. BNP Paribas Securities Corp. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC were the co-sustainability coordinators to General Mills.