According to a news release, investors gathered around Oberlin College and Conservatory’s groundbreaking geothermal infrastructure project last week, spending $ 80 million on one of the first certified climate bond products in higher education.
Certification by the Climate Bond Initiative (CBI) shows that independent experts have validated the environmental benefits of Oberlin’s Sustainable Infrastructure Program (SIP) in line with the goals and goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. increase.
The release states that this is the second accredited climate bond offer among US universities and the third in the world.
Bonds collected nearly three times the bids offered.
With $ 80 million in revenue, Oberlin will fully fund the first phase of the $ 140 million SIP, while comparing traditional funding and other green bonds on the market, according to the release. You can save a lot of borrowing costs.
“Both CBI certification and the enthusiasm of the most prestigious investors in the United States strongly support Oberlin’s sustainable infrastructure program,” said Rebecca Basquez Skillings, vice president of finance and management at Oberlin. Stated. “The market appreciates our leadership in environmental sustainability and is confident in our ability to coordinate our financial stewardship, environmental innovation and institutional mission.”
Vazquez-Skillings said the issue represents the lowest long-term funding cost Oberlin has ever achieved.
A four-year sustainable infrastructure program transforms Ovalin’s 440-acre campus-wide building into geothermal heating and cooling, leveraging the Earth’s natural underground temperature to coal and Ovalin’s current heat sources. Utilizes 1,100 wells that replace some traditional fuels such as natural gas.
The project will also replace 100-year-old steam pipes with an efficient cold distribution network, saving 5 million gallons of water annually and reducing operating costs by more than $ 1 million annually.
At the same time, Oberlin’s buildings have been upgraded to accommodate new systems, save energy and modernize electrical and communications technology.
The project promotes Oberlin with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025.
“The (Sustainable Infrastructure Program) is a once-in-a-lifetime project that positions Oberlin as the world leader in clean energy,” said Meghan Riesterer, vice president of campus energy and sustainability in Oberlin. “This represents a bold decision made by university fiduciaries and senior leaders and reflects the meaningful contributions of staff, students and faculty throughout the institution.
“We are proud that this campus-wide conversion to geothermal heating and cooling has received such a favorable level of support and attention from innovative leaders throughout the financial sector.”
Find out more about the Oberlin College Sustainable Infrastructure Program.
Morgan Stanley was the underwriter and PFM was the financial adviser to the Certified Climate Bond transaction. PIMCO is the largest investor, accounting for approximately 37% of Certified Climate Bonds quotas. MacKay Shields owns about 25% and Goldman Sachs owns about 15%.
Oregon-based Kestrel Verifiers provided a review to support certification.
Kestrel Verifiers has over 20 years of experience helping state governments, local governments and educational institutions access capital for infrastructure and sustainability projects.
Kestrel is a certified verifier certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) and the only verifier to be a certified female company with deep US financial consulting experience.
“Oberlin’s Sustainable Infrastructure Program is so well organized and planned that it provides a roadmap for other universities that want to pursue a carbon-neutral and sustainable infrastructure program,” said Kestrel Verifiers CEO. One Monica Reid said. “The Certified Climate Bond is the gold standard for debt lending to support environmental projects, and Oberlin meets that standard in a good way.”
Kestrel’s assessment of Oberlin’s offerings has determined that debt lending is consistent with Climate Bond Standards (V3.0) and Low Carbon Building Sector Standards.
Key metrics used in the valuation included how revenue was used and managed, the process of valuing and selecting projects, and the effectiveness of reporting procedures.
In its assessment, Kestrel cited the climate change action required by the Paris Agreement and the consistency of the Oberlin project with several UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Related SDGs include: 7: Affordable and clean energy. 9: Industry, innovation, infrastructure. 11: Sustainable cities and communities; 12: Responsible consumption and production; and 13: Climate change measures.
University partners for this project include Ever-Green Energy, who has advised Oberlin on implementing the Carbon Neutral Resource Master Plan since 2016.
Community partners include the City of Oberlin, Oberlin’s First Church, Oberlin’s First United Methodist Church, Oberlin City School, and Mercy Health-Allen Hospital.
Design, construction, planning, and technology advisory partners include MA Mortenson Company, Salas O’Brien, Makovich & Puti Architects, Rafter A Surveyors, Frost Brown Todd, and Ernst & Young.
Oberlin was one of the first signers of the Carbon Commitment (formerly American College & University President Climate Commitment) in 2006.
The university’s commitment to environmental sustainability is a long-standing effort ranging from faculty and student research, environmental curriculum to green building and joint environmental planning with the city of Oberlin.
For more information, see Oberlin College. Environmental_and_Social_Responsibility_Report_2020-21.
Oberlin College Secures $ 80 Million Certified Climate Bond for Sustainable Infrastructure Program – Morning Journal
Source link Oberlin College Secures $ 80 Million Certified Climate Bond for Sustainable Infrastructure Program – Morning Journal