Over recent years Liberty Global has overseen the introduction of a range of sustainability-linked loans and green bonds. These include a high-yield green bond issued by our joint venture, VodafoneZiggo, in December 2020 – the first ever to be issued by a company outside the renewable energy space. So far the company has identified more than €785 million of funding that will be allocated to eligible green projects. Its Green Bond Framework aligns with VodafoneZiggo’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy entitled ‘People, Planet, Progress’, to halve the environmental footprint of VodafoneZiggo and to improve the lives of two million people in The Netherlands. On 13 January 2021, VodafoneZiggo successfully issued its first sustainability bonds worth €2.1 billion under the new Sustainable Finance Framework (press release here.)
In the UK, the Virgin Media O2 Joint Venture (JV) is using its combined connectivity, people and brands to create a lasting positive impact on its communities, while accelerating action on climate change. The company launched its first Green Bonds in June 2021. The net proceeds of the Green Bonds will be allocated to projects in accordance with its Green Bond Framework. It is expected that projects with energy efficiency benefits will make up a large majority of the eligible spend. (The Framework was developed ahead of the JV forming and as such, the focus is on Virgin Media’s already existing sustainability strategy. The JV will review the existing programmes and establish a single sustainability framework for the newly combined operations.)
Both Green Bond Frameworks are certified by Sustainalytics, a global leading company in Environmental Social Governance (ESG) research and ratings, as aligning with the International Capital Market Association Green Bond Principles.
Eligible green projects support United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in a number of areas including efficient and renewable energy, clean transportation and production technologies and processes. In the UK for example, Virgin Media O2 is switching its fleet of over 4,000 vehicles to electric and hybrid vehicles that comply with a 75Gco2/passenger thresholds, and is also installing electric vehicle charging at office locations and employee/engineer homes.