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Riding the CSR Wave: Green Bond Issuance at Thames Tideway

Thames Tideway is the largest issuer of green bonds in sterling and holds the joint-highest Green Evaluation score awarded to date by S&P globally. In this case study, Darren White, Head of Environmental Sustainability at the company, and Ines Faden, Treasurer, share best practices for green bond issuance and outline practical ways to embed corporate social responsibility (CSR) into treasury processes.

Tideway was specifically established to protect the tidal River Thames from pollution, so sustainability lies at the heart of everything the company does. “We are tasked with building the Thames Tideway Tunnel beneath London, which is a major new sewer designed to substantially improve the quality of the water, which will assist with improvements to ecology of the river and public health,” explains White.

In addition to the legacy of cleaning up the river, the company also has the legacy of the construction process to consider, so has very ambitious sustainability targets. “We have developed a Legacy Plan which has 54 sustainability targets. Our objectives are grouped under five themes: Environment; Health, Safety and Wellbeing; Economy; People; and Place. They are also aligned to several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” he explains.

“To give a few concrete examples, we support an inclusive workforce, employing ex-offenders, supporting apprentices, and recruiting people locally. We also have an ambitious target of achieving a 50/50 gender split in our construction work – which is a traditionally male-dominated area. Elsewhere, we are committed to planting two trees for every one tree removed during construction.”