American Express Company has announced the settlement of the company’s first Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Bond, the proceeds of which may be allocated toward sustainable financing projects in the Green and Social categories as directed by the newly developed American Express Sustainable Financing Framework, which is aligned with the company’s global ESG strategy.
Projects in the Green category include those related to green buildings, energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy, and the circular economy, which includes responsible production projects like the company’s goal of having the vast majority of the cards it issues made of at least 70% recycled or reclaimed plastic by the end of 2024. Social projects are comprised of initiatives connected to socioeconomic advancement and empowerment, access to essential services, and affordable housing. All net proceeds from the sustainable financing are expected to be fully allocated to eligible projects within two years of the date of issuance.
The company’s Sustainable Financing Framework will guide its Green, Social, and Sustainability financing transactions. Developed in alignment with the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) Green Bond Principles 2021, the ICMA Social Bond Principles 2021, and the ICMA Sustainability Bond Guidelines 2021, the framework outlines the use of proceeds, process for project evaluation and selection, management of proceeds, and reporting in connection with Green, Social, and Sustainability financing transactions. The framework has been independently evaluated by Moody’s ESG Solutions.
American Express’ ESG Strategy
American Express’ ESG strategy aims to mobilize its business to address pressing global challenges; help people and businesses thrive; and create equitable, resilient, and sustainable communities. The strategy comprises three pillars: Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I); Build Financial Confidence; and Advance Climate Solutions.
To guide the strategy, American Express set initial goals to include a $1 billion DE&I Action Plan, a commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2035, and to maintain strong support for small businesses, including by reaching $100 billion in spending by consumers at small, independently-owned retailers or restaurants on Small Business Saturday and during other Shop Small campaigns from 2021 to 2025. More information on American Express’ ESG strategy and goals can be found in its most recent ESG Report.