Fifth Third Issues Inaugural $500 Million Green Bond

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This week, Fifth Third Bancorp settled the issuance of its inaugural Green Bond for $500 million. The proceeds will fund green projects that align with the Company’s sustainability priorities, as outlined in the Fifth Third Bancorp Sustainable Bond Framework. With this issuance, Fifth Third is the first US financial institution under $250 billion in assets to issue an ESG bond of any type.

The Fifth Third Green Bond is aligned to the Green Bond Principles published by the International Capital Markets Association for use of proceeds, process for project evaluation and selection, management of proceeds, and reporting. The bond will fund eligible projects in the following categories: green buildings, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transportation. Additionally, Fifth Third published its second-party opinion from Sustainalytics, which indicated that the Company’s framework is credible, impactful, and aligned with the Green Bond, Social Bond, and Sustainability Bond Principles.

The bank’s approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities is focused on doing well by doing good, and to generate long-term sustainable value for the Company’s stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, employees, communities, and regulators. In 2020, Fifth Third established an ESG Committee to monitor emerging risks and trends through stakeholder engagement, shareholder resolutions and recommendations from independent organizations such as the Global Reporting Initiative, Value Reporting Foundation (formerly Sustainable Accounting Standards Board), Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, World Economic Forum and the United Nations. In 2020, Fifth Third became the first US commercial bank to join the SASB Alliance and GRI Community. Fifth Third also became a TCFD Supporter.

In 2017, Fifth Third set five sustainability goals to be achieved by 2022 and help prioritize the Company’s environmental sustainability efforts. This included targeted goals to reduce energy use and location-based greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, to reduce water consumption and waste sent to landfills by 20%, and to purchase 100% renewable power. In 2020, Fifth Third became the first regional, commercial bank to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations, including greenhouse gas emissions from bank-owned facilities and business travel. In 2020, Fifth Third set its first sustainable finance goal of $8 billion, to be achieved by 2025. This goal includes lending and financing for renewable energy, which is defined as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydropower.

In May of this year, the Company joined the Ceres Company Network. By joining, Fifth Third has become part of a network of 60 companies who commit to achieving specific sustainability goals, improving resiliency in their operations and supply chains, and advancing market-based and equitable solutions to the world’s biggest sustainability challenges.

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–> This post appeared first on Environment + Energy Leader.

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