Client stories

SUEZ debuts green benchmark 

Shaping a sustainable environment, now

A major player in environmental services, SUEZ supports local authorities and industry worldwide in managing essential services around water and waste. The French group is committed to optimising resource use by exploiting the full potential of new and digital technologies, recycling, recovering value, producing secondary raw materials and alternative resources, and helping its customers in the transition to a circular economy.

In 2021, SUEZ operated 1,903 wastewater treatment plants treating 2.9 billion cubic metres of wastewater and 917 drinking water production plants, serving 68 million people in the world. The Group’s waste business activities produced 1.8 million tons of secondary raw materials in 2020 thanks to its full waste cycle expertise and associated products and solutions. During the same period, SUEZ’s waste collection services served 8 million people.  

In April this year, SUEZ, which is collaborating with universities and research centres to decarbonise its services and innovate water and waste treatment, published its Green Bond Framework. It includes three eligible project categories for the use of proceeds: Water, Waste, and Smart Environmental Solutions; with all three categories contributing to nine of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sustainalytics provided the second party opinion (SPO), confirming that the framework aligns with the ICMA Green Bond Principles 2021.

Unprecedented Green Bond size for water and waste utility sector

After establishing its Green Bond Framework, the SUEZ team looked to issue its inaugural Green Bond, and, considering NatWest’s sustainable finance capabilities, selected NatWest to support the transaction as Active Bookrunner alongside other banks.

Organising investor meetings to outline its credit story as well as showcase its sustainability credentials in detail, the SUEZ team engaged with more than 70 accounts, and the close investor dialogue paid off: when SUEZ opened books for three Green EUR benchmark tranches, orderbooks grew steadily to over €9 billion across all three benchmarks. This allowed the company to tighten spreads across all tranches. The orderbook continued to grow, reaching an oversubscription of 2.9 times, with more than 200 investors participating.

The three tranches, adding up to a total amount of €2.6 billion, were split into a 5-year €750 million green bond with a coupon of 1.875%; an 8-year €850 million green bond with a coupon of 2.375%; and a 12-year €1 billion green bond with a coupon of 2.875%.

Contributing to the development of a global leader in water and waste

Sabrina Soussan, CEO of SUEZ, commented: “The tremendous success of our inaugural Green Bond issuance proves the markets’ confidence in the quality of SUEZ’s credit standing and its sustainability strategy. With this transaction, SUEZ gives investors the opportunity to contribute to the development of a global leader in water and waste.”

Jonathan Peberdy, Head of Capital Markets at NatWest Markets, said: “Climate and sustainability are at the heart of both SUEZ’ and NatWest’s corporate strategy, so we were delighted to be able to support SUEZ with their debut green bond transaction. The success of this transaction is a clear testament to the quality of the SUEZ business and its contribution to the circular economy. It is vital that we continue to support customers preparing their transition to sustainable operations as well as those, such as SUEZ, helping others to become more sustainable.”


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