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Morgan Stanley closes inaugural green bond issue

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Morgan Stanley has closed on the issuance of a USD500 million green bond, the Firm’s inaugural green bond and the latest step in the firm’s ongoing strategy to advance market-based solutions to social and environmental challenges. 

Since 2006, the Firm has facilitated over USD61 billion of capital for clean tech and renewable energy businesses.

Funds equal to the net proceeds of Morgan Stanley’s green bond will be allocated to various renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. A substantial amount of these funds will correspond with investments in existing and future third-party renewable energy projects, primarily wind farms, including Route 66 Wind, a 150 MW wind farm under construction in Texas, and Rattlesnake Wind Energy Center, a 207 MW wind power project also under construction in Texas.

Ahead of this offering, Morgan Stanley created a green bond framework that is aligned with the Green Bond Principles. The framework describes the process through which projects are selected to receive funding, with the aim of ensuring that the Morgan Stanley green bond operates with high levels of transparency, disclosure and verification. Proceeds from the sale of the notes will be deposited into a segregated Morgan Stanley account for tracking disbursements. Morgan Stanley’s green bond has received a comprehensive review from an independent certification expert in renewables and energy efficiency, and an independent accountant will report with respect to stated disbursements. Project updates and impact-focused reporting for this issuance will be made available on a dedicated website.

“Our work as an underwriter of green bonds has already helped direct billions of dollars towards environmentally and socially responsible projects, and it is rewarding to now issue our own green bond supporting projects that generate positive environmental impact. Our green bond includes an independent review from a certification expert, impact-focused reporting and an independent accountant report,” says Celeste Mellet Brown, Global Treasurer.

Morgan Stanley has been a pioneer in green bonds, underwriting transactions globally for multilateral development banks, corporates, agencies and municipalities. Several of these transactions have included notable industry landmarks, including the first-ever corporate green bond, the first-ever automobile asset-backed securities green bond and the first-ever U.S. university green bond. Since 2013, Morgan Stanley has led 27 green bond transactions representing over USD15 billion in aggregate principal amount. Morgan Stanley is also a founding signatory of the Green Bond Principles, which are voluntary guidelines for the development and issuance of green bonds, encouraging transparency, disclosure and integrity in the development of the green bond market.

Morgan Stanley’s green bond is part of the Firm’s broader commitment to sustainable finance. In 2013, Morgan Stanley established the Institute for Sustainable Investing to accelerate the mainstream adoption of sustainable investing by developing industry-leading insights and scalable finance solutions to address global challenges. In addition, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s Investing with Impact Platform provides individual and institutional investors with a wide range of sustainable investing products. Through the Platform, Morgan Stanley financial advisors are able to identify opportunities that support specific social and environmental benefits without compromising financial performance potential.

“Morgan Stanley is committed to helping clients develop and pursue sustainable investing solutions, like green bonds, that can address social and environmental challenges at scale,” says Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing CEO Audrey Choi. “Through the Institute for Sustainable Investing and our Investing with Impact Platform, Morgan Stanley is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for quality sustainable investing products.”

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