Desjardins Group closed an issuance of $500-million in sustainable bonds Sept. 10, an initial offering that will be used to finance or refinance loans, investments and internal or external projects that meet the company’s green assets or social assets eligibility criteria. 

In addition, the company has set exclusionary criteria so the proceeds are not knowingly used to finance any businesses whose principal activity is related to tobacco, thermal coal, unconventional or nuclear weapons, predatory lending, gambling or adult entertainment. 

“Desjardins Group’s sustainable bond framework has been rated advanced, the highest level, by V.E (formerly Vigeo Eiris), an independent international provider of ESG (environmental, social, governance) research, evaluation and ratings. This initial issuance is part of a broader program that should lead Desjardins to solicit the sustainable bond market on a number of occasions in the next few years,” the company said in a statement announcing the debut offering.

“The sustainable bonds will be issued by Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec (the Federation) in the form of senior notes, bearing interest at a fixed rate of 1.587 per cent and due September 10, 2026,” says the announcement. “The notes will constitute direct, unsecured and unsubordinated bonds from the Federation.”