Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced that it has decided to issue “blue bonds” through a public offering in Japan’s domestic market in January 2024.
The bonds are the world’s first blue bonds in the shipping industry, which refer to the guidance provided by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) and other organizations. The Blue Bond Framework developed for the issuance of the bonds will ensure that all uses of the bonds’ proceeds will contribute to a sustainable blue economy, and the bonds received the highest rating of “Blue1(F)” from the Japan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd. (JCR) based on its expectation that they will have a positive environmental impact.
A blue bond is a type of green bond issued to finance green projects that aim to solve environmental problems and is issued with the use of proceeds limited to projects related to the prevention of marine pollution, sustainable marine resources, and so on.
MOL has positioned its environmental strategy as a key element of its group management plan “BLUE ACTION 2035,” established this year, and set “marine and global environmental conservation” as one of its sustainability issues (materiality). The company set a total of 650 billion yen to be invested in resolving environmental issues over the three-year period from FY2023 to FY2025. It will raise funds through blue bonds to finance these initiatives.