Virgin Media O2 Green Bond Framework Second-Party Opinion (2021)
Virgin Media O2
Use of Proceeds
Sustainalytics is of the opinion that the VMED O2 Green Bond Framework is credible and impactful and aligns to the four core components of the Green Bond Principles 2021. This assessment is based on the following:
USE OF PROCEEDS
The eligible categories for the use of proceeds —Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Clean Transportation, Eco-efficient and/or Circular Economy Adapted Products, Production Technologies and Processes — are aligned with those recognized by the Green Bond Principles 2021. Sustainalytics considers that activities in the eligible categories will lead to the decarbonisation of Virgin Media’s operations and advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 7, 9, 11, and 12.
PROJECT EVALUATION / SELECTION
Virgin Media O2’s internal process in evaluating and selecting projects is overseen by the Virgin Media ’Better for the planet’ steering committee (“the Committee”) comprised of representatives from relevant operational teams and supported by the Sustainability and Finance teams. Sustainalytics considers the project selection process in line with market practice.
MANAGEMENT OF PROCEEDS
Virgin Media O2 will track the net use of proceeds through a Green Bond Register. This process will be overseen by the Virgin Media O2 Finance team. Virgin Media O2 intends to reach full allocation within 36 months of issuance. Pending allocation, unallocated proceeds will be held in line with the Joint Venture’s standard liquidity management practices. This is in line with market practice.
Virgin Media O2 intends to report on the allocation and impact of proceeds on its website on an annual basis until full allocation. Allocation reporting will include the amount of proceeds allocated by eligible category, the share of financing vs refinancing, and the balance of unallocated proceeds. In addition, Virgin Media O2 is committed to reporting on relevant impact metrics. Sustainalytics views Virgin Media O2’s allocation and impact reporting as aligned with market practice.