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World Bank Reaches $2 Billion in Sustainable Development Bonds Issued

  • Published on December 10, 2019
World Bank reaches $2 billion in sustainable development bonds issued while raising awareness for food loss and waste with strong support from Japanese investors

The World Bank’s recent Sustainable Development Bonds have helped to raise awareness for the importance of combating food loss and waste. Food loss and waste is part of Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 - halving food waste by 2030.  

Since March 2019, when the World Bank launched the first Sustainable Development Bond to raise awareness of food loss and waste with the Folksam Group, the World Bank has issued US$2 billion equivalent through 25 Sustainable Development Bonds in ten currencies, while engaging with investors to raise awareness for the importance of combating food loss and waste.  This includes a recent 1.75% NOK 1 billion bond due March 13, 2025, with SEB as the sole lead manager.

World Bank bonds support the financing of sustainable development projects and programs in member countries. This includes US$4.6 billion in lending that IBRD is providing to middle income countries to address food loss and waste, with investments in infrastructure, access to markets and logistics, and waste management. Reductions in food loss and waste can deliver diverse dividends, including combatting hunger, supporting sustainable food production, diets and consumption, and ultimately addressing climate change, given that losses and waste account for eight percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions.

A range of banks, asset managers, insurance companies and pension funds have shown their support, especially in Japan. Japanese investors accounted for almost eighty percent of the transaction volume so far, including Norinchukin Bank which invested a total of approximately US$1.2 billion.

With annual issuances between US$50-US$60 billion, World Bank bonds support the financing of programs that support the Sustainable Development Goals. World Bank bonds are aligned with the Sustainability Bond Guidelines published by the International Capital Markets Association. The World Bank is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Green Bond and Social Bond Principles. A key priority for the World Bank’s capital markets engagement is building strategic partnerships with investors to promote the importance of private sector financing in sustainable development.

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