The green bond market is expanding. With Handelsbanken acting as sole green structuring advisor, NorgesGruppen, one of the largest food retail companies in Norway, issued a green bond on the 7 February and thereby became the first retailer in the Nordics to issue a green bond. This is an important milestone in the market, especially since it opens up the market to new potential issuers within the same industry.
With its 1,834 grocery stores and 41,000 employees NorgesGruppen is one of Norway’s largest food retail companies. In addition to this, NorgesGruppen has worked actively towards a more environmentally friendly Norway. The group has a ten-year track record of working systematically to reduce environmental impacts and has high ambitions for the future. For instance, they want to be leading in eco-friendly transports as well as store and warehouse operations. This means that they focus on renewable fuel in their distribution, reducing food waste, becoming more energy-efficient and producing renewable energy, with the goal of achieving a climate neutral business. These targets have been included under three main use of proceeds categories in their green bond framework:
- Clean transportation, such as electric or hydrogen transportation vehicles and related infrastructure.
- Green buildings, such as green stores and production facilities with high BREEAM certifications.
- Renewable energy, such as wind, solar and hydro power as well as geothermal heating and cooling.