Finance - May 18, 2021
Stanford University Issues First Green Bond in US Higher Education
Stanford University recently announced that it has issued the first climate and sustainability bond in U.S. higher education.
The university sold $375 million in public market debt securities that will finance or refinance projects related to its social responsibility goals, such as energy management to achieve net-zero emissions and promoting diversity in education and research. The ESG investments have been externally verified by the International Capital Market Association and the Climate Board.
“This market evolution, together with a review of the annual Sustainability at Stanford report was a lightbulb moment for me,” University Treasurer Karen Kearney said in a statement. “We had been contemplating green bonds for some time, and now we could identify a discernable pricing advantage by associating a bond issue with Stanford’s longstanding emphasis on the environment, access to education, and social responsibility. Seeking ESG designations promised both financial advantages and the opportunity to extend Stanford’s environmental and social stewardship into the financing domain.”
The university is currently pursuing a transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. These initiatives also include the creation of a new school focused on climate and sustainability.
Bank of America led the team of underwriters handling the sale, including Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and Siebert, Williams, Shank & Co, an Oakland-based woman- and minority-owned firm.