Pfizer Inc. Sustainability Bond Framework Second-Party Opinion (2021)
Sustainalytics is of the opinion that the Pfizer Sustainability Bond Framework is credible, impactful and aligns with the Sustainability Bond Guidelines 2021. This assessment is based on the following:
USE OF PROCEEDS
The eligible categories for the use of proceeds – Access to Essential Services, Green Buildings, and Investments intended to improve the environmental performance of Pfizer facilities – are aligned with those recognized by both the Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles. Sustainalytics notes the positive social impacts of increasing access to medicine and vaccines and the positive environmental impacts that are anticipated in the categories of energy efficiency, water management, and waste management/pollution reduction. Sustainalytics further considers that the eligible investments will advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDGs 3, 6, 7, 9, and 12.
PROJECT EVALUATION / SELECTION
Pfizer Inc. has convened a multi-disciplinary team, comprised of representatives from Environment, Health and Safety, Engineering, Corporate Affairs and Treasury, to assess and determine initial project eligibility. Pfizer Inc’s Treasury Team will be responsible for final project approval. Sustainalytics considers the project selection process in line with market practice. Pfizer’s environmental and social risk management system are applicable to all allocation decisions made under the Framework. Sustainalytics considers these risk management systems to be adequate.
MANAGEMENT OF PROCEEDS
The above mentioned multi-disciplinary team will manage and track net proceeds in accordance with Pfizer Inc.’s internal systems. Pending allocation, the net proceeds may be temporarily invested in cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments, or used to repay other borrowings. This is in line with market practice. Pfizer has disclosed that it will fully allocate the proceeds of its bond(s) within five years of issuance, which Sustainalytics views as longer than market practice, acknowledging that this five-year window allows for allocations to ongoing projects which may be already underway.
Pfizer Inc. intends to report on both allocation and impact of proceeds, starting one year after issuance, and until full allocation. Allocation reporting will include category level allocation details and additional information on select projects, while impact reporting will draw on relevant quantitative metrics, where feasible. The report will include management’s assertion on the allocation of net proceeds and an examination from an independent auditor on such assertion. This is in line with market practice.