Visa, a leading global payments technology company, announced that it has priced its inaugural green bond offering, totaling $500 million. The green bond, believed to be the first issued by a digital payments network, will be used to help advance the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and a sustainable payments ecosystem.

In support of that commitment and in addition to its inaugural green bond, Visa is also announcing the appointment of its first chief sustainability officer, Douglas Sabo.

“At Visa, we see a responsibility and an opportunity to use the power of our network to drive broad shifts toward a sustainable future,” said Al Kelly, chairman and chief executive officer of Visa Inc. “Our green bond offering will help us accelerate the transformation of our infrastructure and operations to reach our environmental goals. This commitment extends to appointing Visa’s first chief sustainability officer, tasked with ensuring we continue to take bold and industry-leading actions on the environment.”

As outlined in the Visa Green Bond Framework, the proceeds of the green bond will be used to fund projects including upgrades to buildings, energy efficiency improvements, expanded usage of renewable energy sources, water efficiency projects, employee commuter programs, and research and initiatives focused on sustainable consumer behaviors.

The proceeds will also support investments in projects to inspire and foster sustainable living in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These projects build on Visa’s sustainability leadership, including its transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity across its operations achieved at the start of 2020.

“As the world continues to address the urgency of climate change and other environmental challenges, we are embracing our opportunity to play a leading role in building a more sustainable world,” said Sabo. “Through our green bond offering and together with our initiatives driving inclusive economic growth, we are working to ensure people and planet both can thrive together.”

Visa will issue an annual report on the use of proceeds from the green bond and its environmental impact. Sustainalytics, a leading global provider of ESG research, ratings and data, provided the second-party opinion on the environmental benefits of Visa’s green bond framework as well as its alignment with the green bond principles.

The green bond pays a semi-annual coupon of 0.75 per cent and matures August 15, 2027.

Featured image caption: Doug Sabo, chief sustainability officer, at the Climate Leadership Conference (in 2018).

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