Auckland Council’s retail Green Bond offer last week raised $300 million, seeing the council surpass $1 billion in funds raised through the sustainable finance framework.
The council’s initial Green Bond release in June 2018 was the first for any organisation in New Zealand and this milestone is yet another success.
Finance and Performance Committee Chair, Councillor Desley Simpson welcomes the result.
“This demonstrates that raising finance for greener outcomes has definitely paid off," she says.
"Responsible investment and financing are important tools for us in pursuing our sustainable development targets and I’m proud that the council has not just been an Auckland leader in this space, but a national leader.
"It’s exciting to see the growing appetite for green investment, with the New Zealand green bond market expanding exponentially in recent years.”
Mayor Phil Goff says, “Auckland Council is committed to taking urgent action on climate change using a range of policy, investment and other measures.
“The council was the first organisation in New Zealand to issue Green Bonds to raise finance for assets and projects that benefit the environment, and the market for green investment has grown significantly since then.
“I welcome the milestone of more than $1 billion raised through our sustainable finance framework.
"This funding will support our environment and help us deliver our critical programme of climate change action,” Phil Goff says.
Group Chief Financial Officer Peter Gudsell says the financial system has a key role to play in supporting delivery on climate goals.
“Redirecting capital towards sustainability outcomes, improving how we value environmental impacts and building capacity in the financial sector broadly, is financial leadership we can be proud of.”
The council is well on its journey towards full disclosure of climate-related financial risks and opportunities under the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Risk Disclosures (TCFD) framework.
Disclosing climate risks under the TCFD framework demonstrates the council is proactively addressing investor requests for climate-related information, which helps to bring future climate risks into present consideration, leading to more informed financial planning.
C40 Divest/Invest Declaration
Reiterating the council’s commitment to a zero carbon future, Auckland Council recently endorsed the C40 Divest/Invest Declaration, reaffirming its position to divest any investments in fossil fuel companies and committing to increase financial investments in climate solutions that support a just and green economy.
What is a Green Bond?
Funds raised through Green Bonds can only be used to fund projects that will benefit the environment.
Auckland Council’s sustainable finance framework has identified the eligible sectors for investment as follows:
- renewable energy
- energy efficiency
- efficient buildings
- waste management
- sustainable land use
- low-carbon transportation
- climate change adaptation
- sustainable water management.
In addition, the Green Bond and resulting investment must obtain external assurance and proof of ongoing compliance.