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CSR & ESG
Published  6 MIN READ

Levelling Up: How Finance Can Help Bridge the Rural-Urban Digital Divide

The mass move to working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted an existing disparity between rural and urban areas regarding digital connectivity. For the companies that provide digital infrastructures, green bonds offer a way to finance the upgrade to fibre that aligns with the environmental and social goals of such a project.

A serious sustainability plan will, for many corporates, include ways to reduce emissions and wastage in existing business models, develop entirely new ones that are net zero in terms of carbon dioxide emissions by default, and scaling up renewable technologies.

Businesses seem to be willing to play their part in the sustainable transition – ING research released in April 2021[1] surveying 450 global corporations found that 57% are looking to accelerate their green transformation plans, but more than half of respondents (53%) say that Covid-19-related economic turbulence has reduced their capital expenditure budgets.

This is particularly important during a time when key staff have been working from home, relying on domestic internet and infrastructure to manage vast corporate balance sheets. This has highlighted the digital divide between rural and urban areas regarding internet access and speed of service.