In August, CFC released its first Sustainability Bond Report illustrating the efforts to finance improved access to essential services for underserved communities and other projects that align with CFC’s sustainability priorities using proceeds from the CFC Sustainability Bond issued on Oct. 9, 2020. In particular, 100 percent of the net proceeds from the bond were used to finance members’ rural broadband projects.
“We issued a $400 million sustainability bond last October—the first ESG (environmental, social and governance) bond issued for and by the electric cooperative industry—to finance renewable energy and broadband initiatives benefiting rural communities throughout the U.S.,” CFC CEO Andrew Don said. “As a member-owned cooperative, CFC is committed to the mutual interests of our members and the communities they serve. The CFC Sustainability Bond Report is the culmination of many months of effort on the bond issuance, management of proceeds and financing of our members’ broadband projects.”
The report details how CFC defined eligibility, evaluated and selected the 48 projects and highlights four member recipients. The case studies include projects from Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, central New York-based Otsego Electric Cooperative, southeast Missouri-based SEMO Electric Cooperative and central Texas-based Taylor Electric Cooperative.
“During the last 18 months of the pandemic, electric cooperatives have demonstrated how essential their services are to rural America,” CFC Senior Vice President and CFO Ling Wang said. “While the pandemic accelerated the necessity for broadband in rural areas, members have been developing broadband infrastructure for years. We’re proud to support our members’ financial needs, their communities and bring the awareness of our members’ ESG efforts to the investor community.”