The Port of Los Angeles has expanded its commitment to sustainability by issuing $35.2 million in green bonds as part of a larger debt refinancing successfully completed this week. The move marks the first time a U.S. port has entered the growing sustainability bond market where investors support projects and companies making positive social and environmental change.
“Running a competitive and environmentally responsible port permeates every facet of our operations,’’ said Marla Bleavins, the Port’s Deputy Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. “This bond offering and the unprecedented savings it yields speak volumes about the value of this approach.”
The green bonds are part of an overall $201.6 million bond issue that will net the Port a record present value savings of $32.5 million, an average of $1.9 million annually through 2040. During the process, all three top credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch Ratings – reaffirmed the Port’s “AA” and “Aa2” investment rankings, the highest ratings given to a port without taxing authority.
The Port’s top credit ratings reflect its strong market position, resilient revenue stream, strong financial management, superior infrastructure, cash reserves and manageable debt.
The Port’s green bonds underwent an independent review to ensure the transaction conforms to international social and sustainability principles. Sustainalytics, a global leader in sustainability research and analysis whose clients include Apple Inc. and Starbucks Corp., performed the third-party evaluation. The firm validated the integrity of the Port’s green bonds for three projects completed in recent years.
The Wilmington Waterfront Park: a 30-acre green space with walkways, bike paths and a children’s playground that also serves to buffer the community from Port traffic.
The Port of Los Angeles Police Headquarters: The structure’s environmental and energy-efficient features earned gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
The Cabrillo Shallow Water Habitat: a 190-acre feeding area for fish and marine birds.