Google owner issues ‘largest sustainability bond in history’


Owner of Google, Alphabet Inc, has issued $5.75bn (£4.4bn) in sustainability bonds, in what it claims is the largest sustainability or green bond issued by a corporation to date.

While the proceeds from green bonds are typically used to fund projects which minimise a company’s environmental footprint, sustainability bonds cover social sustainability issues as well.

For projects to receive support from the bond, they must fall into one of the eight priority categories identified by Alphabet: energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, clean transport, circular economy and design, affordable housing, racial equality, and support for small businesses in the wake of COVID-19.

Ruth Porat, CFO Alphabet and Google, commented on the announcement: “Today, as part of a $10 billion debt offering, we have issued $5.75 billion in sustainability bonds, the largest sustainability or green bond by any company in history.

“Although a number of companies have issued green bonds (directed solely to environmental uses), sustainability bonds differ in that their proceeds support investment in both environmental and social initiatives.

“Such bonds are an emerging asset class and we hope this transaction will help develop this new market.

“We’re encouraged that there was such strong demand for these bonds from investors – they were significantly oversubscribed.

“The proceeds from these sustainability bonds will fund ongoing and new projects that are environmentally or socially responsible and enable investors to join us in tackling critical issues.

“We believe that these investments benefit our communities, employees and stakeholders, and are an important part of fulfilling Google’s mission and goal of creating value over the long term.”