Schneider Electric breaks new ground with €200M climate bond dedicated to finance low carbon R&D programs and by targeting investors committed on climate change.
Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, successfully launched a climate bond in October 2015, raising 200 million euros with a 10-year maturity and a coupon of 1.841% in partnership with AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), Mirova and Neuflize OBC Investissements.
The objective of this bond issue is to finance Schneider Electric’s R&D programs dedicated to technologies enabling the Group’s customers to achieve superior CO2 savings. This is the first corporate climate bond dedicated to finance low-carbon innovation programs.
Jean-Pascal Tricoire (pictured), Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, said: “This unprecedented bond issue, both in terms of targets and purpose, strengthens our strategy to offer innovative technologies to help our customers to reduce their CO2 emissions. We strongly believe that a significant number of climate change challenges can be resolved with the adoption of new technologies, which will also enable processes and business model changes.”
The fight against climate change through development of solutions for energy efficiency and CO2 reduction has been at the heart of Schneider Electric’s activities and strategy for years. Schneider Electric helps its customers to reduce their CO2 emissions, with solutions supporting their business objectives. Furthermore, by end of 2017, 100% of solutions offered by Schneider Electric will come with a comprehensive and transparent estimate of their CO2 impacts & gains.
Technologies covered under this climate bond fall within areas of expertise where Schneider Electric boasts a high degree of experience and skills, enabling a robust assessment of expected CO2 savings on customers’ end. The selected R&D programs aim at developing new technologies adding value in one or more of the following dimensions:
– Energy efficiency;
– Low-CO2 energy production through connection of renewable energy solutions to grid;
– Low-greenhouse gases content;
– Low resource intensity.
Schneider Electric committed to communicate and report on fund allocation and ex-ante estimates of the anticipated climate benefits. A Vigeo’s second party opinion has been issued on the alignment of the bond with the Green Bond Principles and on the sustainability of the transaction. A yearly auditor’s certificate on the fund allocations and an external verification of the indicators of the Planet & Society Barometer will also be provided.
This club deal, which was only targeting investors who are signatories to the Green Bond Principles or to the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, was jointly managed by Crédit Agricole CIB and Natixis.
Jean-Pascal Tricoire said: “This climate bond combines R&D, green technology and responsible investment. On the eve of the Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), we trust this is a strong and positive signal from an industrial player and its investing partners.”
John Porter, Global Head of Fixed Income at AXA Investment Managers, commented: “We sourced and structured this investment on behalf of AXA Group as part of their continued commitment to tripling their green investment footprint to reach over EUR 3 billion by 2020.
“The knowledge and experience of AXA IM’s responsible investment team ensures that we only invest in quality green bond issuers as not all green bonds are equal. Furthermore, the bespoke platform built for AXA Group by our fixed income and structured finance teams has made a club deal of this size (EUR 160 million) in the green bond market possible.”
Philippe Zaouati, Chief Executive Officer at Mirova, commented: “For Mirova, a leading player in the Green Bond market, Schneider Electric’s bond issue, financing its energy efficiency research programme, meets many energy transition challenges.”
Xavier Chapon, Head of Fixed Income at Neuflize OBC Investissements, commented: “We manage sustainable funds and invest in Green Bonds. The Schneider Electric’s climate bond issue meets all our sustainable investment criteria and the sustainability policy of the issuer is clearly defined and robust.”
7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption
Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.
This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?
Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.
New Technologies to Watch
These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:
- Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
- Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
- New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
- Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
- Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
- The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
- Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.
Making the Investment
All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.
Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis
Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.
Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?”
Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.
Tip #1: Focus & Determination
Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.
Tip #2: Minimize Spending
One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!
Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal
You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.
Investing in Clean Energy
One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.
With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.
The Future of Green Biz
As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.
Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.
In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!