Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Finance - November 9, 2021
Fifth Third Issues First $500 Million Green Bond
Fifth Third Bancorp settled the issuance of its first green bond for $500 million and will use the proceeds to fund green projects such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The Cincinnati-based bank said it is the first U.S. financial institution with assets under $250 billion to issue an ESG bond of any type.
“With the issuance of our inaugural green bond, we are aligning our financing with our investment and lending priorities and extending our leadership in environmental sustainability,” said Jamie Leonard, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Fifth Third Bancorp in a statement. “Our green bond enables us to provide liquidity to our customers in their transition to a sustainable future as well as additional investment opportunities to our investors to meet their investment objectives.”
The bank’s green bond is aligned to the Green Bond Principles published by the International Capital Markets Association for the use of proceeds, process for project evaluation and selection, management of proceeds, and reporting.
The bond can fund eligible projects such as green buildings, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation. Fifth Third published its second-party opinion from Sustainalytics, which indicated that the bank’s framework is credible, impactful, and aligned with the Green Bond, Social Bond and Sustainability Bond Principles.
Fifth Third created five sustainability goals to be achieved by 2022 in 2017. This includes targeted goals to reduce energy use and location-based greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, to reduce water consumption and waste sent to landfills by 20% and to purchase 100% renewable power. In 2020, Fifth Third became the first regional commercial bank to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations, including greenhouse gas emissions from bank-owned facilities and business travel. In 2020, Fifth Third set its first sustainable finance goal of $8 billion, to be achieved by 2025. This goal includes lending and financing for renewable energy, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower.