On 16 August 2017 Anglian Water made history. We became the first public utility to launch a £250 million Sterling Green Bond, and marked the occasion by opening the market and putting our stamp firmly in the London Stock Exchange register. A really proud moment.
In simple terms, a financial bond works like a personal loan. Businesses use bonds to borrow money from investors in order to raise funds to carry out large scale projects. The projects funded by Green Bonds are financing sustainable, ‘green’ projects that deliver environmental benefits. They are rare in the UK, with only four others available, none of them in the utility sector.
The funding generated by the bond will be used to finance our investments in our region which will secure water supplies for generations to come and support our ambitious Love Every Drop mantra of sustainability, carbon reduction, water efficiency and environmental stewardship.
This means investors can invest with confidence, financing our investments into essential infrastructure knowing that they are green, better for the environment and will have a reduced carbon footprint. And with almost 80 investors taking part in the £250 million bond and our order book totaling £800 million, it’s a clear sign that the market agrees sustainable and resilient business models are good for both business and the environment and they want to invest their money in Anglian Water.
As we operate in one of the driest, yet fastest growing and economically important regions of the UK, we know long term access to secure water supplies is one of the most pressing global challenges today. And we’ve been setting the bar high within the industry, leading the way to address the three-fold challenges of water scarcity, climate change and environmental protection.
Sustainability is simply how we do business, all day, every day. But our Green Bond is a signal to others that amplifies our commitment in this area and demonstrates that debt financing and sustainable business principles go hand in hand.
As Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year, we have pledged as part of our manifesto to encourage more companies to pursue green, responsible finance.
And because of our responsibility, and of the major role we play in the regional and UK economy, we have committed to a range of ambitious environmental goals, including pledging to become a carbon neutral business by 2050. Having already reduced embodied carbon by 55% from a 2010 baseline, we’re on course to reach 60% carbon reduction by 2020.
It is a brave new world, but one we’re very much a part of, in fact, the future’s bright, and it’s definitely green.