TransLink issued its first green bond this week, giving investors the opportunity to put their money into sustainable transit projects. The $400-million green bond was the transit authority’s largest bond issue to date, and the largest municipally issued green bond in Canada.

“TransLink is committed to a sustainable future, and we’re lining up all our actions to reflect that,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said in a statement. “Our customers, our community and our investors want this, and we are responding.”

Green bonds are similar to traditional bonds, which TransLink has used to finance capital projects since 2010, but they are certified and can be included in “green” investment portfolios.

Rob Malli, TransLink’s chief financial officer, said there were 41 investors interested in the initial offering, and the interest came from both local buyers in the Vancouver market and international ones, from Europe to the Middle East.

“We were definitely oversubscribed, which was a positive sign,” said Malli. “We think it was very successful.”

Malli said TransLink gave preference to investors with a strong green mandate, and 73 per cent of those who bought into the bond have such a mandate. The bond will be used to finance projects outlined in the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation.

Eligible projects fall under the categories of clean transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution prevention and control, green buildings and climate change adaptation. TransLink expects to issue more green bonds in the future to pay for transit projects.

“We wouldn’t be able to progress if we didn’t have the reception in the investor community,” said Malli.

Source Vancouver Sun