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Wallenberg family issues green bonds and targets for Electrolux

By James Beech

The Swedish family controlled appliance giant Electrolux is setting the benchmark on sustainability with its launch of green bonds this week and ambitious renewable targets on track for 2020.

The world’s fifth largest consumer goods manufacturer issued the first bond loan within its green bond framework, raising SEK 1 billion ($108.4 million) to fund investments and other projects with environmental benefits.

The bond was issued under company’s existing Euro Medium Term Note programme and the newly launched Electrolux Green Bond Framework. The funds raised will be used for financing or refinancing of eligible “green assets” as defined in the framework.

Electrolux also reported a 66% reduction in CO2 emissions from its operations since 2005. Contributing to the CO2 reduction achieved until 2018, 24 of Electrolux manufacturing sites now only procured electricity from renewable energy sources. The company said it was on course for its 2020 goal to have a 50% share of renewable energy in all of its operations.

Other key initiatives and achievements from 2018 included approved science-based climate targets in line with the Paris climate agreement, the Zero Landfill program implementation and the social investment strategy to scale up the Electrolux Food Foundation’s support to communities across the world.

“During 2018, Electrolux invested SEK 5.6 billion [$605 million] in projects including automation and digitalisation as well as new product platforms, which will also improve the company’s sustainability performance,” the firm said.

Investments were expected to continue, with a total capital expenditure of SEK 7 billion ($757 million) expected in 2019. The company also increased R&D spending during 2018 to almost SEK 4 billion ($432 million), of which one third was used for sustainability-related product development.

Jonas Samuelson (pictured), non-family chief executive, said the investments will realise significant financial and environmental savings, avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to millions of metric tons of CO2.

“This is a major contribution toward our climate targets,” Samuelson said.

“I am proud of our science-based targets, which reinforce our position as a leading company on taking climate action.”

The Wallenbergs, including principal Marcus Wallenberg (pictured top), are Sweden’s largest business family, controlling stakes in Electrolux, Saab and Ericsson and Electrolux. The Wallenberg family office, Investor, holds 15.5% of the capital and 30% of voting shares in Electrolux.

The Electrolux Group sells more than 60 million household and professional products in more than 150 markets every year. In 2018, Electrolux had sales of SEK 124 billion ($13.4 billion) and employed 54,000 people around the world.