Zaandam, the Netherlands, June 30, 2020 - Ahold Delhaize today announces that the full proceeds of the company’s first Sustainability Bond have been used to support the increased consumption of sustainably sourced products, further reduce the company’s climate impact and increase sales of healthier products. The transaction made Ahold Delhaize the first retailer to issue a euro-denominated Sustainability Bond, highlighting the company’s commitment to accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems.
Ahold Delhaize raised €600 million in June last year through the issuance of a Sustainability Bond maturing on June 26, 2025, in line with its Sustainability Bond Framework. Sustainalytics, an independent provider of Environmental, Social and Governance research and ratings, delivered a second-party opinion on the Framework and an Annual Review of the subsequent Sustainability Bond Report. Both are available on Ahold Delhaize’s website.
“Through this first experience in connecting our health and sustainability ambitions with company financing, we learned there are many investors who are both eager to support the transition to a more sustainable food future and share with us their learnings. Those learnings informed our recent sustainability actions, and we’re very optimistic about future potential for sustainability-linked financing”, said Miguel Silva Gonzalez, Senior Vice President & Treasurer of Ahold Delhaize.
The largest portion of the proceeds – €432 million – were used to further expand sourcing of sustainable seafood, coffee, tea, and cocoa. In addition, some of the proceeds were allocated to the production cost of the ‘Urban Farm’ on the roof of a Delhaize Belgium store.
Furthermore, €161m was invested in renewable energy installations, energy efficient equipment, refrigeration improvements, and green buildings. Specific projects included the installation of LED lighting, heat reclaim systems, CO2 refrigeration systems, energy efficient doors on refrigerated cases, and solar panels in distribution centers, stores and offices.
The remainder of the proceeds were used to implement and expand healthier eating initiatives while maintaining affordability, including R&D for reformulated products and the marketing and distribution of healthier products. Significant investments were made in the nutritional navigation systems that provide customers transparency on product nutritional value.
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