Starbucks Corp. is asking investors to fund as much as $496 million on what the coffee giant describes as “sustainability” projects, the latest move in a growing push by companies to reduce the potentially negative impact of their activities on the environment.
The funds would come from debt the company issued this week earmarked for projects such as purchases of “responsibly grown” coffee, research centers to help farmers boost their production, and loans to farmers who may lack access to financing, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It’s the first time the Seattle-based coffee chain will borrow money from investors specifically to fund its sustainability efforts. It comes as financial regulators, such as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, have in recent months encouraged investors to buy more securities meant to finance environmentally-friendly projects.
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