MOL to issue world’s first blue bonds in shipping

Japan’s shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has decided to issue “blue bonds” through a public offering in Japan’s domestic market in January 2024.

The bonds are said to be the world’s first blue bonds in the shipping industry.

A blue bond is a type of green bond issued to finance green projects that aim to solve environmental problems, and is issued with the use of proceeds limited to projects related to the prevention of marine pollution, sustainable marine resources, and so on.

As explained by MOL, the Blue Bond Framework developed for the issuance of the bonds will ensure that all uses of the bonds’ proceeds will contribute to a sustainable blue economy, and the bonds received the highest rating of “Blue1(F)” from the Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) based on its expectation that they will have a positive environmental impact.

MOL has positioned its environmental strategy as a key element of its group management plan “BLUE ACTION 2035,” established this year, and set “marine and global environmental conservation” as one of its sustainability issues.

The company set a total of 650 billion yen to be invested in resolving environmental issues over the three-year period, from the financial year 2023 to the financial year 2025. It will raise funds through blue bonds to finance these initiatives.