Northwest Natural Holding Company, (NYSE: NWN) (NW Natural Holdings), and NW Natural Gas Company (NW Natural) recently closed on several sustainable financings as the Companies strive to continue supporting the energy transition and movement toward a sustainable economy.
NW Natural successfully placed its first $130 million sustainable bond on November 15, 2021. The bond was issued under NW Natural's new Sustainable Financing Framework. NW Natural expects to allocate an amount equivalent to the $130 million proceeds from the sustainable bond to refinance or finance NW Natural's renewable natural gas investments and procurement; its sustainable and seismically secure headquarters building, which is LEED core and shell gold certified; energy efficiency programs; and purchases or support of minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, LGBTQ-owned and/or small businesses.
"We are working to invest in and support a low-carbon energy future and a sustainable economy for our customers. With these financings, we've incorporated sustainability, a long-held focus of our company, into another important component of our business strategy," said David H. Anderson, NW Natural Holdings president and CEO. "I'm proud to continue leading on sustainability and continuing our rich legacy of customer care, diversity, and environmental stewardship."
The Companies' sustainability strategy, which includes a goal to achieve 30% carbon savings by 2035 and a vision for being a carbon neutral energy provider by 2050, is described in their 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance Report.
Sustainable Bond and Sustainable Financing Framework
NW Natural Holdings and NW Natural's can each issue sustainable bonds under our Sustainable Financing Framework, with an amount equivalent to the proceeds of the bond issuance being used to finance or refinance projects related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings, and our supplier diversity program. The framework has been reviewed by Vigeo Eiris (V.E), an independent global provider of ESG research and analysis. V.E issued a second-party opinion confirming that the framework aligns with the four core components of the Sustainable Bond Principles 2021 and that investments in the eligible categories will lead to positive environmental and social impacts and advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In line with sustainable standards, NW Natural has agreed to publish an annual report to track the financing of sustainable projects and their associated environmental and social impacts, where feasible. The framework, together with the V.E opinion, are available on NW Natural's Sustainability webpage.
Lead underwriters included US Bancorp and CIBC with US Bancorp acting as the Sustainable Structuring Agent.
Sustainability-linked Credit Facility
On November 3, 2021, each of NW Natural Holdings and NW Natural amended and restated its revolving credit facility, resulting in the extension of the maturity date to November 3, 2026, and an increase in NW Natural Holdings and NW Natural's total borrowing capacity to $600 million. The facilities can be extended for two additional one-year periods, subject to lender approval. The amendments include provisions that link each Company's borrowing costs to an environmental metric related to NW Natural's carbon savings goal of 30% by 2035 and a safety metric related to in-line inspections of NW Natural's transmission pipeline.
The credit facility was provided by a syndicate of leading financial institutions. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as the Sustainability Structuring Agent and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. acted as the Administrative Agent. Bank of America, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC served as additional Joint Lead Arrangers and Joint Bookrunners.
About NW Natural Holdings
Northwest Natural Holding Company, (NYSE: NWN) (NW Natural Holdings), is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and has been doing business for over 160 years in the Pacific Northwest. It owns NW Natural Gas Company (NW Natural), NW Natural Renewables Holdings (NW Natural Renewables), NW Natural Water Company (NW Natural Water), and other business interests. We have a longstanding commitment to safety, environmental stewardship and the energy transition, and taking care of our employees and communities, learn more in our latest ESG Report.
NW Natural is a local distribution company that currently provides natural gas service to approximately 2.5 million people in more than 140 communities through more than 780,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington with one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. NW Natural consistently leads the industry with high J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction scores. NW Natural owns and operates 20 Bcf of underground gas storage capacity in Oregon.
NW Natural Water provides water distribution and wastewater services to communities throughout the Pacific Northwest and Texas. NW Natural Water currently serves approximately 66,000 people through about 27,200 connections. Learn more about our water business at nwnaturalwater.com.
Additional information is available at nwnaturalholdings.com.
This report, and other presentations made by NW Natural Holdings or NW Natural from time to time, may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that do not relate strictly to historical or current facts are forward-looking and usually identified by the use of words such as "anticipate," "assumes," "estimate," "could," "would," "should," "will," "may," "forecast," "approximate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "seek," "believe" and other similar words and references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the following: plans, objectives, assumptions, estimates, expectations, timing, goals, strategies, commitments, future events, investments, renewable natural gas, energy transition, sustainable strategy and economy, likelihood and success associated with any transaction, allocation of proceeds, renewable natural gas, purchases and procurement, methane emissions, carbon neutrality, low-carbon, diversity, environmental stewardship, sustainable financing framework and requirements and compliance thereunder, sustainability-linked credit facilities and requirements and compliance thereunder, decarbonization and the role of natural gas and the gas delivery system, including decarbonization goals and timelines, use of renewable sources, strategic goals and visions, effects of legislation or changes in laws or regulations, and other statements that are other than statements of historical facts.
Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions regarding its business, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. You are therefore cautioned against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. They are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future operational, economic or financial performance. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are discussed by reference to the factors described in Part I, Item 1A "Risk Factors", and Part II, Item 7 and Item 7A "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure about Market Risk" in the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in Part I, Items 2 and 3 "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk", and Part II, Item 1A, "Risk Factors", in the quarterly reports filed thereafter for NW Natural Holdings or NW Natural, respectively.
All forward-looking statements made in this report and all subsequent forward-looking statements, whether written or oral and whether made by or on behalf of NW Natural Holdings or NW Natural, are expressly qualified by these cautionary statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and NW Natural Holdings and NW Natural undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by law. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible to predict all such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.