Second, can a sugary drink company join the cool club in town...the one for leaders in environmental and social sustainability?
A green bond is basically a form of debt whose proceeds are used to fund some environmentally friendly project, such as more energy efficient buildings, light rail systems, or renewable energy system construction.
In Pepsi’s case, the use of these funds includes “eco-friendly plastics and packaging, cleaner transportation,” and other business improvements that are aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to Bloomberg NEF, the issuance of green bonds globally was up about 40% during the first half of 2019 versus the last half of 2018.
Barron’s estimates that the issuance of green bonds will hit $250B this year, as more institutional investors seek “green” investment products across all asset classes.
But that $250B is a drop in the bucket relative to the nearly $6T global bond market. So, just in case you thought green bonds were the new popular kids in school, think again.
OK, now before you as Entrepreneurs in Impact get excited about using green bonds to grow your company, hit the pause button. For now, these are mostly only issued by the world’s largest companies or financial institutions.
But they are an indication of growing mainstream investor interest in energy and environmental business opportunities.
OK, to the second part of this microblog…
Can a company whose main products are sugary drinks and potato chips — “enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world” — be counted as a “company for good”?
In a purist sense, the answer might be no.
It’s too easy to shine the light on positive environmental activities while ignoring the negative health impacts from some of the company’s core business lines.
But in a more practical way, the answer could be yes.
As parts of the market still demand less than healthy food and beverage, some company has to meet their needs. And all the better that this company is choosing to reduce the environmental impacts of its water and plastic use, while slowly shifting to a more diversified product offering including healthier options.
Finally, if companies of this scale can move even 5% towards a better direction, their positive environmental and human health impacts could dwarf those of dozens of super awesome, but much smaller, B Corps.