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Bell announces first sustainability-linked derivatives

Bell Canada (Bell) announced that it has entered into its first Sustainability-Linked Derivatives (SLDs). The SLDs leverage Bell’s ambitious key performance indicators (KPIs) designed to measure performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets and underscores Bell’s continued objective to achieve the highest ESG standards and our purpose to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world.

“We’re proud to announce our inaugural Sustainability-Linked Derivatives. This new initiative, combined with the publication of our first Integrated Annual Report earlier in March, demonstrates our focus on integrating sustainability within our financial performance and aligns with our ESG objectives to make a positive difference with our investments, supporting a more sustainable and prosperous future.” Curtis Millen, SVP, Corporate Strategy & Treasurer, BCE and Bell

The SLDs introduce a pricing adjustment that increases the derivatives’ cost based on Bell’s performance towards its science-based target to reduce its operational GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2) of 58% by 2030 from a 2020 base year with the Science Based Targets initiative1 (SBTi). Bell selected this Sustainability Performance Target (SPT) to support its objective to meet its science-based targets for GHG emissions reduction by tying performance with financial costs. The SPT will be measured as of 2030 and a limited assurance review of Bell’s targets will be performed by an independent third party.

The SLDs follow the announcement of BCE’s Sustainable Financing Framework in April 2021, Bell’s inaugural $500 million Sustainability Bond offering in May 2021 with proceeds allocated to eligible green and social investments and the conversion of its $3.5 billion committed credit facilities to a Sustainability Linked-Loan (SLL) in November 2022.

Scotiabank and TD Securities acted as Lead Sustainability Structuring Advisors and Swap Arrangers for this transaction. BMO Capital Markets acted as Sustainability Advisor. CIBC Capital Markets, Desjardins Securities, National Bank Financial Markets, RBC Capital Markets and Wells Fargo were Sustainability Swap Providers in this transaction.

CT Bureau

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