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VF Shares How Green Bond Advanced Science-Based Targets

VF Corp. said Thursday it has fully allocated the net proceeds from its inaugural green bond issued last year that totaled approximately 493 million euros ($594.76 million).

The proceeds allocated to 13 of VF’s eligible sustainability projects worldwide helped to deliver meaningful positive environmental impacts, including 2 million trees planted, approximately 16,000 metric tons of CO2e avoided annually through the procurement of sustainable materials and more than 970 million liters of water saved annually through conservation initiatives, the company said.

“We take great pride in being the first company in the apparel and footwear industry to issue a green bond,” Scott Roe, executive vice president and chief financial officer for VF, said. “We believe that business success and environmental stewardship are closely linked together, demonstrated by the success of this effort, which has enabled us to advance progress toward achieving our science-based targets while also strengthening our business for the long term. We hope our success will inspire others in our industry and beyond to pursue similar initiatives.”

VF issued its inaugural green bond, the first for the apparel and footwear industry, in February last year. The allocation of the green bond net proceeds was an important step in VF’s implementation of its Made for Change sustainability and responsibility strategy that supports the company’s business objectives with actions that improve lives and protect the planet.

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VF says its use of the green bond proceeds demonstrates its commitment to three key sustainability areas that are core to its business–sustainable products and materials, sustainable operations and supply chain, and natural carbon sinks. In addition, the net proceeds support projects that align with key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To provide transparency for its green bond initiative, VF has published a Green Bond Impact Report that includes a comprehensive breakdown of allocated proceeds, and select metrics and achievements of related projects.

The reports notes purchases of sustainable products and materials made directly or via intermediary suppliers and product vendors include fabric containing at least 50 percent recycled-content nylon and polyester, fabric in which the cotton content consists of organic-certified cotton or cotton verified by the Better Cotton Initiative, or materials containing at least 80 percent recycled-content paper and corrugate for use in products and packaging.

In addition, the report cited innovation expenditures and other investments that directly contribute to building the systems to create more circular product designs and investments in packaging reduction or elimination initiatives.

VF’s green bond was issued in accordance with the ICMA Green Bond Principles 2018. VF’s Green Bond Framework was reviewed by Sustainalytics, a global provider of sustainability research and services that issued a second-party opinion declaring that the framework was credible and impactful.

VF Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies, with outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans, The North Face, Timberland and Dickies.