TransLink's new $400 million Green Bond to fund sustainable transit projects

Nov 17 2018, 1:04 am

TransLink has issued its first-ever Green Bond, with a value of $400 million. This makes it the first public transit authority in Canada to conduct such a capital-raising program.

This is also TransLink’s first bond issuance since it began financing projects through bonds in 2010 and the organization’s largest bond issue yet.

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

In a previous interview, Rob Malli, the Chief Financial Officer of TransLink, told Daily Hive that Green Bonds could help fund electric-battery buses, new rail rapid transit lines, and perhaps even the Burnaby Mountain gondola to Simon Fraser University.

While TransLink’s conventional bond program already went towards projects that are environmentally friendly, the Green Bond program seeks investors who are dedicated to green and low-carbon projects.

A Green Bond program adds a higher level of accountability towards, and the public transit authority says the interest among investors has been “significant.”

This is further enforced by TransLink’s approval earlier this fall of pursuing a green plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% and use 100% renewable energy by 2050. Much of these targets rely on transitioning to a bus fleet comprised primarily of electric-battery vehicles.

To date, the public transit authority has raised $1.53 billion through conventional bonds.

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