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05/18/2021

Couche-Tard fuels sustainable projects with first ‘Green Bonds’

Circle K store and car wash in Sackville NB
The company has been working to replace, recover and recycle water wherever possible across their global network of 2,700 car wash locations. (Shutterstock)

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. announced last week that it closed a private debt offering valued at US$1 billion. The offering consisted of two vehicles, a US$650 million amount due in 2041, and its first issuance of Green Bonds, with a US$350 million amount due in 2051.

Couche-Tard intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Green Bonds to further the company’s commitment towards driving a more responsible future.

The proceeds of the Green Bond will be used to finance or refinance, in whole or in part, Couche-Tards new or existing environmentally friendly projects and community initiatives in six categories: clean transportation; energy efficiency; renewable energy; pollution prevention and control; sustainable water and wastewater management; and green buildings.

“Through the issuance of our Green Bonds on May 10, 2021, the first of its kind by a convenience and fuel retailer, we aim to finance a low-carbon and sustainable future through expenditures that align with our desire to contribute to a cleaner and safer world,” says president and CEO Brian Hannasch“This initiative marks an important milestone in our journey to create sustainable value for all our stakeholders. We have already set our sights high by establishing ambitious 2025 sustainability targets and are now taking a further step towards providing greater transparency and engagement on our efforts to have a positive impact on the world around us.”

As an example of how Couche-Tard is making an environmental difference in the face of climate change, Hannasch reports that the company has been working to replace, recover and recycle water wherever possible across their global network of 2,700 car wash locations.

“Upgrades to our car wash equipment are providing a better car wash experience for our customers all while using less water and chemicals. For each system replaced, we save an estimated 326.3 million litres of water and 9.4 thousand litres of chemicals per year. Our goal is to replace 20% of car washes across our network by FY23. At this time, we have upgraded over 350 car wash sites across 28 business units.

“Our PurWater Reclaim and Reject Recovery Systems, deployed across various US and Canada sites, enable us to recover up to 80% of the water used in our car washes. In FY19, we implemented the recovery systems in 116 stores, saving 35.6M litres of water and $0.5M in cost savings through reduced water and sewer costs. We continued the program in FY20, where we updated 39 stores, saving 23.6M litres of water and over $0.2M in cost savings. All new North American car wash sites are equipped with these reclaim and recovery systems,” he says, noting that in Quebec (over 2019 and 2020) they upgraded the equipment in six carwash locations with water reclaim systems. This upgrade resulted in a 65% reduction in water usage and a 33% reduction in chemicals.