Leading global food retailer Carrefour has successfully issued an inaugural €1.5 billion sustainability-linked bond (SLB) to target packaging and food waste reductions across its global operations.
The bond, for which BNP Paribas acted as Global Coordinator, is issued under Carrefour’s Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework, which aligns to ICMA’s 2020 Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles. The issuance reached a total order book of €7.2 billion; almost five times oversubscribed.
Matthieu Malige, Chief Financial Officer, Carrefour, comments: “The outstanding success of this bond issuance demonstrates the confidence of the markets in the Carrefour brand, its strategy and its financing approach, and the Group’s full commitment to the food and environmental transition.”
Driving change across the value chain
The SLB supports Carrefour’s ambitious sustainability strategy, Carrefour 2022, which outlines a five-year transformation of its business model to become a global leader in the food transition, providing customers with healthy, accessible food while preserving the planet’s resources. The dual-tranche bond embeds two Sustainability Performance Targets (SPTs):
- SPT to avoid placing on the market 20,000 tonnes of packaging by 2025 (cumulative since 2017)
- SPT to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025 (vs 2016)
The strategy puts circular economy at its core by aiming to reduce the quantity of packaging placed on the market, ensuring the reuse and recyclability of existing packaging and reducing food waste. To do this, Carrefour is working with stakeholders across the value chain – from suppliers and partners to consumers, public authorities and competitors – to spearhead a transformation of the global industry, as well as contributing to a number of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including SDG 2, Zero Hunger and SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production.
Patrick Calinski, Managing Director, Debt Capital Markets, BNP Paribas CIB, comments: “The ambition and materiality of targets embedded in Carrefour’s SLB underline its strong commitment to promoting responsible practices across its supply chain and wider industry ecosystem. The exceptional market reception demonstrates that investors continue to seek opportunities that marry financial returns with sustainable positive impact.”
What is a sustainability-linked bond?
Sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs) commit issuers to ESG-related key performance indicators (KPI), generating additional payments to bondholders accrued if those KPIs are not met. Unlike green or sustainable bonds, SLB proceeds are used for general corporate purposes, although they allow the issuer to align its financing with medium to long-term sustainability goals.