Minneapolis sells its first “green” bonds for new public LEED Gold facilities

City encourages consumers to support action on climate change in their own investments

This week the City of Minneapolis sold its first-ever green bonds, worth $96.22 million, to finance portions of two high-profile public LEED Gold facilities soon to be under construction. “Green bonds” means the proceeds are used for environmental, social and sustainable objectives under guidelines determined by the International Capital Markets Association. Green buildings, also known as low-carbon buildings, are an eligible project type under the Green Bond Principles. Both the new consolidated Public Service Building and the East Side Storage and Maintenance Facility, a state-of-the-art public works facility, will save significant energy, create less greenhouse gases than standard construction and catalyze other developers to meet similar standards.

Minneapolis joins Saint Paul as the first cities in the state to issue green bonds. Green bond designation can help the City reach the goals and strategies in its Climate Action Plan while at the same time possibly achieving a lower interest rate on bonds to save taxpayer dollars and helping to expand the market for green bonds to support action on climate change.

While these bonds are sold, the City would like to encourage people with investment dollars to ask their investment providers how to buy green bonds to further support action on climate change.

In its Climate Action Plan, the City identifies a strategy to demonstrate leadership in green buildings.

The Public Service Building is expected to reach a LEED Gold or higher certification in consolidating several departments currently at several sites into one modern, energy-efficient building accessible by mass transit. The design emphasizes low energy use, natural daylight and minimal impacts to migrating birds.

Each spring and fall the City sells bonds to finance portions of its capital budget. Refunding bonds work similarly to the way a person might refinance a home, meaning the City refunds bonds it sold years ago by selling new bonds at lower interest rates.

 

Published Oct 22, 2018

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