JBS Sets Dubious Record with “Sustainable” Bond

JBS Sets Dubious Record with “Sustainable” Bond

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, meat giant JBS issued a billion-dollar “sustainability-linked” bond. In response, Mighty Earth CEO and Founder Glenn Hurowitz said:

“This bond is probably the greatest bastardization of the term ‘sustainability’ in financial history, and that’s saying something.”

“It’s one of the most destructive companies in the world telling investors it deserves billions of ‘sustainability’ dollars to finance 14 more years of deforestation.

“JBS remains a company that continues to sell meat linked to deforestation, even though there are more than a billion acres of land where deforestation-free agricultural production is possible. They could choose to be a leader in the global transition to a deforestation-free future, but instead they’ve chosen to conduct sustainability by press release.

“Any investor that buys JBS’s sustainable bond will be complicit in the forest destruction and displacement of Indigenous communities they drive.”


  • JBS is Brazil’s largest cattle company, and its activities have been tied to deforestation, habitat destruction and climate change.
  • In March, the company announced it would a “commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040,” including a pledge to “achieve zero deforestation across its global supply chain by 2035.” Advocates charged that the commitment was woefully inadequate for such a climate-intensive company and in fact amounted to a commitment to 14 more years of forest destruction.
  • In April, Mighty Earth released its newest analysis of deforestation data, which found that JBS was the worst-scoring meatpacker and company overall. It has been linked to 100,000 hectares of clearance the past two years – an area larger than all of Berlin. 75 percent of this clearance occurred in protected areas, making it potentially illegal under Brazilian law.
  • The new bond issued today by JBS does not seem to be labelled as a formal ESG bond or Green Bond. Rather, the term “sustainability-linked” implies that interest rates will be tied to sustainability targets – though JSB does not provide information about who or what body will make that determination. There does not seem to be any commitment that the financing will be used for sustainability activities.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Joel Finkelstein

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