Ahold Delhaize has announced that the full proceeds of its first sustainability bond have been used to support the increased consumption of sustainably sourced products, further reduce the company’s climate impact and increase sales of healthier products.
According to the group, the transaction made it the first retailer to issue a euro-denominated sustainability bond, highlighting the company’s commitment to accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems.
The retailer raised €600m in June last year through the issuance of a sustainability bond maturing on 26 June 2025, in line with its sustainability bond framework.
“Through this first experience in connecting our health and sustainability ambitions with company financing, we learned there are many investors who are both eager to support the transition to a more sustainable food future and share with us their learnings," said Miguel Silva Gonzalez, senior vice-president and treasurer of Ahold Delhaize. "Those learnings informed our recent sustainability actions, and we’re very optimistic about future potential for sustainability-linked financing.”
The largest portion of the proceeds – €432m – were used to further expand sourcing of sustainable seafood, coffee, tea, and cocoa.
In addition, some of the proceeds were allocated to the production cost of the ‘Urban Farm’ on the roof of a Delhaize Belgium store.
Furthermore, €161m was invested in renewable energy installations, energy efficient equipment, refrigeration improvements, and green buildings.
Specific projects included the installation of LED lighting, heat reclaim systems, CO2 refrigeration systems, energy efficient doors on refrigerated cases, and solar panels in distribution centres, stores and offices.
The remainder of the proceeds were used to implement and expand healthier eating initiatives while maintaining affordability, including R&D for reformulated products and the marketing and distribution of healthier products.
Ahold Delhaize said that "significant investments" were made in the nutritional navigation systems that provide customers transparency on product nutritional value.