Global food services company Compass Group has issued two sustainable bonds, raising proceeds of €500m and £250m, respectively, to support its net zero ambitions and sustainability initiatives.

It is claimed to be the first sustainable bond offering in the sector.

Compass Group will use the proceeds from the bonds to progress its sustainable initiatives, which include responsible sourcing as well as procurement from local and diverse suppliers, and for other expenditure that supports decarbonisation within its value chain.

The funding will be used in line with the Group’s new Sustainable Financing Framework, which was launched in July.

Examples of projects that will be supported by the funding include purchasing goods that are certified as organic, sustainable and fair trade from local, socially diverse or minority suppliers, as well as investing in reduction projects for food waste and non-food waste.

Food waste reduction projects would include measurement technologies and systems, while projects for non-food waste would involve the reduction of plastic waste and promotion of reusable items.

The proceeds will also be used for electrifying the Group’s fleet, promoting clean energy usage and plant-based products, and investing in regenerative food production to support the company’s net zero commitment.

The group also plans to invest in healthy eating initiatives, in addition to in-unit education, labelling and staff training.

Compass Group chief financial officer Palmer Brown said: “Our new Sustainable Bonds and Sustainable Financing Framework not only reflect our objective to be a socially and environmentally responsible organisation for our clients, employees, suppliers and wider society; they also support our long-term Climate Net Zero ambitions.

“We intend for the proceeds of the Sustainable Bonds to initially support the increased purchase and tracking of Fairtrade and sustainable goods within our supply chain, reducing our Scope 3 emissions footprint, while funding diverse and minority suppliers.”

In July, Compass Group Canada partnered with SJW Robotics to pilot an autonomous kitchen technology.