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World’s Top Corporate ESG Debt Issuer Sets Sterling Milestone

(Bloomberg) —

ESG debt pioneer Enel SpA has chalked up another ethical milestone with the largest offering of sterling sustainability-linked bonds.

The Italian power company raised 750 million pounds ($985 million) in a sale of seven-year notes on Monday in only the second offering of the notes in the currency this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The transaction is the largest corporate sustainability-linked bond sale in the currency on record.  

Enel, which leads companies worldwide with the most ESG debt, was the first issuer to raise a bond with terms tied to sustainability performance in 2019. It also signed the biggest-ever sustainability-linked loan of 10 billion euros ($11 billion) last year.

The company aims to have more than 70% of its debt tied to sustainability achievements or uses by 2030, according to Alessandro Canta, head of group finance and insurance. Sustainable facilities currently account for more than 55% of the company’s total gross debt, and the percentage share is set to reach around 65% in 2024. Sustainability-linked debt makes up 61% of the 61.4 billion euros of ESG financing the company has raised so far.

“Sustainability-linked transactions have a series of clear merits,” said Canta. “It is therefore clear that this is a tool which, on one hand, must be built on solid foundations defined by credible and ambitious sustainability strategies and which, on the other hand, implies a series of financial considerations, depending on the ability of the issuer to achieve the selected sustainability targets.”

Enel pulled in about 2.1 billion pounds of investor orders for Monday’s sale. The notes are tied to the reduction of direct greenhouse gas emissions, the company said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Read more: Ethical Debt Glossary: ESG, SLB, SLL, KPIs and More: QuickTake

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