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Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to Issue Certified Climate Bond

04/15/20 02:00:pm

Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded leaders in wastewater treatment, stormwater management, and green infrastructure is issuing the first-ever Certified Climate Bond for a combined wastewater and stormwater program in the United States. The bond was verified by Kestrel Verifiers, a Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) Approved Verifier, and Woman-Owned Small Business, based in the US.

Kevin Shafer, MMSD Executive Director says, “We are proud of our record of capturing and cleaning 98.4% of all the stormwater and wastewater that enters our system, but we have set an aggressive goal to capture and clean 100%.  To meet this aggressive vision, MMSD has identified a resilient, sustainable approach. The Climate Bonds Certified label on this financing demonstrates our commitment to sustainability to the market.”

mmsd logo
Climate Bond Certified
kestrel verifier logo

“With over 20 years’ experience in environmental finance and extensive experience with water projects, we view MMSD as an extraordinary, innovative leader in integrated water management. We are proud that the District was able to achieve the Certified Climate Bonds label as we see this as the gold standard of Green Bonds,” said Monica Reid, CEO of Kestrel Verifiers. 

The Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) Standards include rigorous scientific criteria to ensure that projects comply with the 2 degrees Celsius warming limit in the Paris Agreement. To achieve the Certified Climate Bond label, an Issuer must use an Approved 3rd Party Verifier to review the deal. Of the 40 CBI Approved Verifiers worldwide, MMSD selected Kestrel Verifiers, the only Woman-Owned Small Business, and a certified Women’s Business Enterprise verifier.  

Additionally, Kestrel Verifiers determined that activities financed with MMSD’s bonds meet 3 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 13: Climate Action.

The proceeds of this Series 2020A issuance will be used to finance capital projects ranging from water reclamation facilities and pipelines to green infrastructure to reduce flooding and stormwater runoff.


Deal Information: 

Issuer: Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District

Series: General Obligation Sewerage System Bonds, Series 2020A (Green Bonds – Climate Bond Certified)

Par: $80,000,000

Date of Sale: Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Sale Format: Competitive

Financial Advisor: Baird

Link to Preliminary OS:

Framework: MMSD Green Bond Framework

Certificate: MMSD Climate Bond Certificate

Some of the features that make MMSD exceptionally innovative:

The District has adopted an Urban Biodiversity Plan, a Sustainability Plan, an Energy Plan, a Resilience Plan, 2035 Vision plan and conducted a robust Climate Change Vulnerability Analysis, all of which contribute to a healthier Milwaukee region and a cleaner Lake Michigan.

MMSD has a goal of reducing their carbon footprint by 90% from baseline conditions by 2035 (when others aim at 2050, if at all).

solar panels on roof
Green roof in Milwaukee

MMSD gives Green Luminary® awards to businesses, organizations, and communities that implement exceptional green infrastructure design projects in their service area by harvesting rainfall for other uses or mimic nature by draining it into the ground to reduce water pollution.

Through the Greenseams® program the District now protects 4,082 acres by making voluntary purchases of undeveloped, privately owned properties with the goal of storing and draining water into the ground naturally to prevent future flooding and water pollution while supporting and protecting MMSD's structural flood management projects in areas expected to have major growth in the next 20 years and open space along streams, shorelines, and wetlands.

stork flying over lake and grass
stack of milorganite bags

Since 1926, MMSD has been producing and commercially selling Milorganite® a premier non-pesticide organic Nitrogen based fertilizer, derived from the naturally occurring microbes used to digest organic materials in wastewater as well as other recycled nutrients.   The production of Milorganite® has diverted 9.9 billion lbs. of waste from landfills.



MMSD Contact Information:

Bill Graffin, Public Information Manager

Ph. 414-510-6832

Kestrel Contact Information:

Dana Villanova, COO

Ph. 646-828-8816