Stanford has become the first U.S. college or university to issue bonds carrying dual climate and sustainability designations for financing campus construction and renovation projects.
The bonds are rooted in the university’s commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility standards over years of foundational work to expand the university’s shift toward renewable energy sources and programs to balance social equity.
The result is a wide-ranging series of initiatives to address critical challenges – from energy-management projects placing the institution on a path toward zero emissions to presidential initiatives that boost diversity in education and research – that are now helping shape the way campus projects can be financed.
On April 7, 2021, Stanford went to market selling $375 million in public market debt securities to help finance or refinance various projects included in the university’s capital plan.
The securities are in the emerging ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investment category. Two ESG designations have been externally verified: the International Capital Markets Association’s Sustainability Bond designation and the even more rigorous Climate Bond Verification, reflecting alignment with the Paris climate accord. Both are based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals.