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As a life insurance company with long-term obligations, Manulife invests in assets that support the transition to a low-carbon economy. Having been the first life insurer in the world to issue a green bond, we broke new ground again in 2018; this time, issuing our first green bond in Canada.

A green bond is like any other bond, except that the proceeds are earmarked for climate and environmental projects. Our Green Bond Framework, which is aligned with the International Capital Market Association’s Green Bond Principles, directs the use of proceeds from our green bonds towards renewable energy, green buildings, sustainably-managed forests, energy efficiency, clean transport, sustainable water management, and pollution prevention and control.

Our first green bond was issued in Singapore and certified to the Climate Bonds Standard, an investor-focused not-for-profit organization promoting large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy. The proceeds were used for the development of wind and solar projects in the U.S. and Canada. It’s estimated to have helped avoid 52,700 tons per year of carbon dioxide emissions. Two of the largest projects it supported were:

Rivière-du-Moulins Wind Project, the largest wind energy facility in Canada under a single Power Purchase Agreement, a 20-year agreement with Hydro Quebec. Constructed in 2014, the wind farm is located in Quebec, has a total installed capacity of 350 megawatts, is financed by several financial institutions including Manulife, and is estimated to power 59,500 homes.

Grand Renewable Solar Project on the north shores of Lake Erie in Ontario is one of the largest solar projects in Canada. The total installed capacity of 100 megawatts is financed by multiple partners, including Manulife. Since 2015, the project has had a 20-year feed-in tariff contract with HydroOne in Ontario. The 800-acre farm incorporates 450,000 solar panels and powers 17,000 homes.

Details on the environmental benefit of the bond can be founded in our first Annual Green Bond Report.

Our second green bond was issued in Canada in May 2018, and the net proceeds were used once again to finance green assets as defined in our Green Bond Framework. We plan to publish the environmental benefit of the bond in May 2019.

Our first green bond is estimated to have helped avoid 52,700 tons per year of carbon dioxide emissions.