Alibaba Group said it had allocated proceeds from a $1 billion sustainability bond to support projects ranging from energy-efficient data centers to recycling programs.
On Feb. 4 last year, the e-commerce platform issued an inaugural $1 billion sustainability bond, due 2041 and yielding 2.7%.
Sustainability investing is one of Wall Street’s fastest-growing businesses. A study last year by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance found that money managers have poured $35.3 trillion, or over a third of global assets under management, into sustainable funds.
Public scrutiny into how governments and corporates fulfill their pledges to be eco-friendly has risen in lockstep with growing awareness of climate change. Borrowers also are revealing more details about the use of capital raised.
Alibaba said on Tuesday that net proceeds of about US$986.9 million from its dollar-denominated bond sale went into projects including energy efficiency, green buildings, Covid-19 crisis response and buying renewable energy.
Alibaba broke down its use of proceeds into $451 million on constructing energy-efficient data centers and $352 million on erecting and refurbishing green buildings. The company has engineered 1.9 million square meters in gross floor area of energy-efficient buildings with the funds.
The rest of the proceeds were put towards Covid-19 relief efforts, including technical support, merchant relief and rural support programs; the purchase of solar and wind power; and recycling and waste management programs.
The company has purchased over 1 million MWh of renewable energy and installed more than 13,000 recycling stations and bins, it said in a report to mark the first anniversary of its inaugural sustainability bond.
To be sure, these projects represent a small part of Alibaba’s broader ESG work and are partially funded using other company resources. The company published its first Carbon Neutrality Action Report last year. The company is also working with merchants and consumers across its platforms to reduce carbon emissions by 1.5 gigatons by 2035.
Alibaba established a Sustainability Committee under its board to lead the Alibaba’s sustainability initiatives.