Co-op raises £300m with Fairtrade sustainability bond

The Co-op has issued a Sustainability Bond raising £300m with the proceeds exclusively to be used on supporting and promoting Fairtrade, its producers and communities.

In a first for a UK retailer, the Co-op’s five year sustainability bond pays investors an annual interest of 5.125 per cent and allows the Co-op to access long-term funding at an attractive rate that will enable global investors to increase their focus on investments that meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and key environmental and sustainability targets.

The Co-op has developed a Sustainability Bond Framework under which any subsequent bond issuance will allow the Co-op to allocate funds to its spend on education, via its Academies Trust, alleviating water poverty, providing access to responsibly sourced products and delivering energy efficient technology to lower emissions.

The issuance is the first in a series of planned re-financing that will see the Co-op raise funds to fuel its growth plans, within its debt ceiling of £0.9bn.

Commenting on the bond Steve Murrells, CEO of the Co-op, said: “Co-op was an early pioneer of Fairtrade and now with the support of like-minded investors we can grow it further, opening up new opportunities and creating value for our members as well as producers and communities in developing countries.”

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