Bell announces closing of Sustainability-Linked Loan
Supporting our commitment to environmental, social and governance leadership
MONTRÉAL, Nov. 9, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Canada (Bell) announced today that it has amended its existing $3.5 billion committed credit facilities to convert them to a sustainability-linked loan (SLL). The SLL underscores Bell's continued commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership and our purpose to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world. The SLL follows the announcement of BCE's Sustainable Financing Framework in April 2021 and Bell's inaugural $500 million Sustainability Bond offering in May 2021 with proceeds allocated to eligible green and social investments.
The amendment introduces an annual pricing adjustment that reduces or increases the borrowing cost based on Bell's performance of two key annual sustainability performance targets (SPTs) related to the following Bell science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative1 (SBTi):
Bell selected these two targets as they collectively cover the vast majority of Bell's total carbon footprint. The annual SPTs support our commitment to meeting our science-based targets for GHG emissions reduction and supplier engagement by tying performance with our cost of financing.
"We are pleased to announce the closing of this Sustainability-Linked Loan. The SLL aligns with our ESG strategy and performance to make a positive difference through our Bell for Better investments supporting a more sustainable and prosperous future."
- Glen LeBlanc, Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chair, Atlantic Canada
Bell's environmental leadership includes reducing environmental impacts with initiatives throughout our value chain. Our commitment to energy management and reducing our carbon footprint is in line with our strategic imperative to engage and invest in our people and create a sustainable future.
Bell's ESG strategy complements our financial performance by working at the intersection of environmental, economic and social systems, with the objective to create long-term value for the company and for society.
TD Securities (TD) acted as the Sustainability Structuring Agent for the SLL.
Environmental, social and governance performance
In 2022, Bell maintained ISO 50001 certification of its energy management system for a third consecutive year, after becoming the first communications company in North America to achieve that designation for an Energy Management System and was named the inaugural Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reductions Champion by Clean50, a national sustainability organization. We announced our goal to have carbon neutral operations starting in 2025 and have been recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for the sixth consecutive year.
Information about Bell's environmental initiatives and the benefits we deliver to our customers, team and communities, including our Bell for Better investments in mental health, environmental and workplace leadership, is available in our Corporate Responsibility Report. Bell's ESG objectives are also featured in the BCE 2021 Annual Report to shareholders, available at BCE.ca.
A copy of BCE's Sustainable Financing Framework and further information on our sustainability strategy can be found at BCE.ca.
Through Bell for Better, we are investing to create a better today and a better tomorrow by supporting the social and economic prosperity of our communities with a commitment to the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. This includes the Bell Let's Talk initiative, which promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
SOURCE Bell Canada