General Mills (NYSE: GIS) today announced its inaugural sustainability-linked bond aligned to the company’s efforts to combat climate change. The 10-year, $500 million sustainability-linked bond is tied to measurable improvements on the pathway to General Mills’ commitment to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent across its value chain by 2030.
“Climate change and its effects are having an impact on our planet, people’s lives and on General Mills’ ability to live out our purpose of making food the world loves,” said Kofi Bruce, chief financial officer, General Mills. “General Mills is focused on reducing emissions across our value chain, and we are making strategic financial investments connected to our sustainability goals to further advance and support this important work.”
With the issuance of this bond, General Mills links the coupon of the bond to the performance against the company’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goal. The interest owed to bond investors will increase if the company fails to reach the interim reduction targets (Scope 1 and 2) by 2025. Company initiatives to reduce carbon emissions include energy efficiency at plant locations, shifts to renewable electricity and continued pursuit of other innovations.
General Mills structured its bond to align with International Capital Market Association’s Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles 2020. General Mills published a Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework, which can be found on the company’s website, and obtained a second party opinion on the framework from ISS ESG. An external verification from a qualified third party on General Mills’ performance will be made public annually and the emissions data will be communicated through the company’s Global Responsibility Report.
BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as joint book-running managers on the offering. BNP Paribas Securities Corp. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC were the Co-Sustainability Coordinators to General Mills.
In 2015, General Mills was the first company across any sector to set a greenhouse gas reduction commitment approved by the Science-Based Target Initiative across its full value chain, from farm to fork to landfill. Earlier this year, General Mills was the first U.S. consumer packaged goods company to enter into a sustainability-linked revolving credit facility, which included a pricing structure tied to progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and purchasing renewable energy certificates to cover electricity usage.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, including the sustainability-linked bonds. There shall not be any sale of the securities described herein in any state or other jurisdictions in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or other jurisdiction.
About General Mills
General Mills makes food the world loves. The company is guided by its Accelerate strategy to drive shareholder value by boldly building its brands, relentlessly innovating, unleashing its scale and being a force for good. Its portfolio of beloved brands includes household names such as Cheerios, Nature Valley, Blue Buffalo, Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Annie’s, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2021 net sales of U.S. $18.1 billion. In addition, the company’s share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.1 billion.