The telecom sector is increasingly active in the green bond market, with three companies – Telefonica, Verizon, and Vodafone – having issued green bonds in the first half of 2019. The bonds total nearly $3 billion, and more are expected to follow, according to S&P Global Ratings.
As the sector rolls out new technologies that can potentially decrease emissions and improve energy efficiency, telecoms need funding; green bonds are raising funds for such technology, helping companies directly and indirectly reach sustainability goals, S&P found.
In January 2019, Telefonica issued the telecom sector’s first green bond for $1.14 billion. Verizon followed in February with a $1 billion bond, and Vodafone issued its $840 million green bond in May. Given the success of these deals, S&P believes that the market may have accepted the unique characteristics of these bonds and expects more telecom companies to follow suit.
S&P evaluates all three green bonds as falling into the top half of the scoring range, indicating a positive environmental impact similar to new building refurbishments or wind power generation.
Telecom companies rely on a constant supply of energy for network operations and data centers. The telecom and information and communications technology industry is expected to account for an estimated 2% of total global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.