The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, Aaa/AAA) issued today a COP 37.275 billion (USD equivalent 10 million), 5-year Sustainable Development Bond. The World Bank launched the bond as a part of a campaign to raise awareness for the vital role of the world’s freshwater and marine resources and the importance of addressing water and ocean pollution. Fiera Capital was the sole investor in this transaction which was purchased for the Fiera Multi-Strategy Income fund. J.P. Morgan was the sole underwriter and distributor of the bond.
This bond is the latest example of the World Bank’s engagement with investors around specific development challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this engagement, the World Bank and Fiera Capital are raising awareness for SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 14, Life Below Water.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses additional threats to water and oceans as difficult short-term choices between health and the environment result in an increased use of single-use plastics and increased production of medical waste, which can end up in the Earth’s oceans.
The World Bank, as the largest multilateral funder for ocean and water projects in developing countries, is committed to ensuring access to safe and clean water and the sustainable use of ocean and marine resources. The World Bank’s overall oceans program includes projects that range from implementing large regional fisheries programs, to tackling all sources of marine pollution, protecting critical marine habitats and supporting coastal development around the globe. The World Bank champions the Blue Economy agenda more generally, finding solutions and providing the analytical work needed for governments to create an enabling environment for the sustainable development of coastal, marine economies. This includes through support from PROBLUE, a multi-donor trust fund housed at the World Bank.
“We are extremely pleased to once again be partnering with the World Bank, a global leader in the impact investing space, in a bond that combines financial return and contributes to a more sustainable future. Water is a critical aspect of human life and these Sustainable Development Bonds are a focused way to raise awareness for Sustainable Development Goals (“SDG”) 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 14, Life Below Water.” said Nicolas Vaugeois, Vice President & Co-lead Portfolio Manager.
“Fiera Capital and the World Bank share a common vision of integrating ESG factors into financial decisions and the firm belief that responsible investing is profitable. Similar to our 2019 investment, the transaction announced today will have a direct and positive impact by supporting sustainable development activities financed by the World Bank. It also helps to raise awareness for the environment, protecting water and ocean resources that are essential to sustaining health and well-being across the globe. We are very proud of this second collaboration with the World Bank.” said Alexandre Cousineau, Vice President & Co-Lead Portfolio Manager.
“We are grateful to again have the opportunity to work with Fiera Capital and support their efforts to highlight the critical need to protect water and ocean resources – especially since COVID has exacerbated the challenges to ensure clean water and oceans. We appreciate Fiera Capital’s ongoing interest in the World Bank’s sustainable development activities and investment in our bonds,” said Heike Reichelt, Head of World Bank’s Investor Relations and Sustainable Finance.
The World Bank supports programs and activities in its member countries designed to achieve a positive social and environmental impact in line with the World Bank’s twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. These “twin goals” are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). World Bank bonds are consistent with the sustainability bond guidelines published by the International Capital Markets Association. A key priority for the World Bank’s engagement in the capital markets is to build strategic partnerships with investors to raise awareness for the role of private sector financing in sustainable development.
The project examples mentioned in this press release are for illustrative purposes only and no assurance can be provided that disbursements for projects with these specific characteristics will be made by the World Bank during the term of the bonds described herein.