Ahold Delhaize Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework Second-Party Opinion (2021)
Sustainability Linked Bond or Note
Use of Proceeds
Sustainalytics is of the opinion that the Ahold Delhaize Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework aligns with the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles 2020. This assessment is based on the following:
Selection of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Ahold Delhaize Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework includes two KPIs: Scope 1 and 2 GHG Emissions, and Food Waste per Food Sales (see Table 1). Based on the consideration for the materiality of the KPIs, their relevance to Ahold Delhaize’s business, the scope of their applicability, and ability to be benchmarked, Sustainalytics considers both KPIs to be adequate.
Calibration of Sustainability Performance Targets (SPTs)
Sustainalytics considers the SPTs to be aligned with the issuer's sustainability strategy. Sustainalytics further considers the SPT 1 to be ambitious based on its trajectory alignment with a 1.5-degree scenario, and alignment with best practice among its peers. SPT 2 is also considered to be ambitious, indicating performance that is above Ahold Delhaize’s historical performance, and the Company’s leading efforts with respect to food waste reduction.
Ahold Delhaize will link the bond's financial characteristics to the achievement of the SPTs, namely an increase in coupon rate. The incremental change in coupon is triggered if either of the SPTs are not met.
Ahold Delhaize commits to report on an annual basis on its performance on the KPIs in its Sustainability Annual Report, which will be available on its website. Ahold Delhaize commits to disclose relevant information that affect the KPI performance, such as any reassessments of KPIs and/or adjustments of baselines or scope of the KPIs where relevant. The reporting commitments are aligned with the SLBP.
Ahold Delhaize commits to have an external limited assurance conducted on its KPI performance at the communicated SPT deadline, which is aligned with market expectations.