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The Nordics’ first green bond issued by a retailer

Detaljhanelsbolag

First retailer issues a Green Bond

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. 

Hållbarhetsmål 7, 11 och 13

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:  

  1. Clean transportation, such as electric or hydrogen transportation vehicles and related infrastructure. 
  2. Green buildings, such as green stores and production facilities with high BREEAM certifications.
  3. Renewable energy, such as wind, solar and hydro power as well as geothermal heating and cooling. 

The use of proceeds also contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The framework mainly targets three of them, namely Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and Goal 13: Climate Action. The environmental quality of NorgesGruppen’s green bond was assessed by CICERO who issued an independent second opinion on the framework. CICERO rated it “Dark Green”, meaning that the framework, its structure and the use of proceeds correspond to the long-term vision of a low carbon and climate resilient future. 

Handelsbanken acted as green structuring advisor and sole bookrunner on the green bond framework and inaugural green bond, whereby NOK 400 million was issued. The order book was more than four times oversubscribed, close to NOK 1,700 million – clearly showing that there is a very high interest among investors for green and sustainable fixed income investments.

För mer information:
NorgesGruppen´s Green Bond FrameworkOpens in a new window
CICEROs Independent evaluation (Second Opinion)Opens in a new window
How NorgesGruppen works with sustainabilityOpens in a new window