Blog | 04/12/2021 08:48:33 | 3 min Read time

Bond, Green Bond

We will remember the year 2020 for more than just a pandemic that continues to torment us. In January, we signed the UN 1.5 degree climate commitment. UPM's aim is to mitigate climate change and create value through sustainable forest management, innovating new products and reducing the company's CO2 emissions by 65 percent.

The acceleration of the pace of our growth projects has a direct link to our financing, to which responsibility naturally also integrates, as with everything we do. In March, we entered the market with a EUR 750 million revolving credit facility or revolver as it is called in expert circles. Revolver's margin is tied to the targets of reducing fossil carbon emissions and improving biodiversity.

At the end of the year, we published a Green Finance Framework under the EMTN programme. We strived for making the framework as comprehensive as possible so that it reflects the overall integration of responsibility and the company's environmental impacts. That is why we included six ICMA (International Capital Market Association) categories to which green bond funds could be allocated. As is best practice in the market, we sought an independent opinion on the framework from CICERO and received the highest possible Dark Green rating. Soon after that we issued our first Green Bond.

The year has now changed and responsibility in financing includes transparency. So, the question is, what happened to the revolver margin and what projects was the Green Bond financing used for?

Reducing fossil CO2 emissions is the single most important action in mitigating climate change and a key factor in achieving the 1.5 degree commitment and determining the revolver margin. The 6 percent reduction in our own and purchased electricity emissions during 2020 is in line with our target and will contribute to a full reduction in the margin. The Paris Climate Agreement entered into force in 2015, during which time we have achieved a 20 percent reduction in our CO2 emissions covered by the revolver.

In addition to emission reductions, our 1.5 degree commitment also includes targets for forests and products. Because of this, we wanted to direct the funds raised with the first Green Bond to projects related to these. UPM's business is based on the sustainable use of forests, so most of the funding was allocated to forests and our operations there. In addition to forest certification, impact is measured by the carbon sink of forests, which was in fact higher than UPM's own annual emissions, and by the development of biodiversity, which was also positive.

Although emissions and forests have a greater environmental impact with current measurement methods, new, sustainable products entering the market are the single biggest positive factor for the climate. Creating new takes time and money, so part of the Green Bond was allocated on developing UPM's bio businesses. The number of patents and trademarks tells about our progress, and biomedical products, for example, can have immeasurable value in pharmaceutical research, if not so much economically, but from a human point of view.

You can read more about all this in our first Green Bond Report 2020. Maybe not as compelling to read as James Bond, but the revolver and Green Bond are included there as well.

Kenneth Råman, SVP, Treasury and Risk Management
Sami Lundgren, VP, UPM Responsibility


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