ESG Program

Learn about our environmental, social, and governance program, and how we bring those values to life with green bonds, sustainable projects, and more.

About Our Program

DWAF Sustainability Program 

In administering loans through the Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF), the Authority finances projects to ensure long-term operational sustainability of drinking water systems, protection of human health, and support for disadvantaged communities. The program prioritizes regionalization, addressing harmful algal blooms or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”), lead service line replacements, and loans for underserved communities. Loans finance a variety of projects such as upgrades and rehabilitation of treatment facilities, extending service lines, and improvements necessary for compliance with federal and state laws to protect public health and safety.

WPCLF Green Bond Program

In administering loans, through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF), the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) currently prioritizes (i) projects that focus on nutrient reduction (primarily phosphorus and nitrogen) in order to mitigate harmful algae blooms that negatively affect drinking water quality and pose serious threats to public and environmental health and (ii) regional projects, which promote cooperation and consolidation of independent systems in order to provide more efficient and centralized wastewater treatment and improve compliance with federal and state regulations to protect public health and safety. Approximately 48% of Ohio’s watersheds are degraded by nutrient loading from phosphorus and nitrogen.

Sustainability (DWAF) and Green (WPCLF) Bond Programs

OWDA has retained Kestrel Verifiers, an approved Verifier accredited by the Climate Bonds Initiative and an Observer for the International Capital Market Association (“ICMA”), to verify that the Sustainability Bonds and Green Bonds conform, in all material respects, with the ICMA Green and Social Bond Principles (Sustainability Bond) and Green Bond Principles (Green Bond). The sustainability bond and green bond designations are intended to allow investors the opportunity to invest directly in bonds which finance environmentally and socially beneficial projects or environmentally beneficial projects respectively.

Per the International Capital Market Association (“ICMA”), Sustainability Bonds and Green Bonds are any type of debt instrument where the proceeds will be exclusively applied to finance or re-finance, in part or in full, new and/or existing eligible green and social bond projects (Sustainability Bonds) or green projects (Green Bonds) which are aligned with the four components of the Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles. The four core components are: (1) Use of Proceeds; (2) Process for Project Evaluation and Selection; (3) Management of Proceeds; and (4) Reporting.

Kestrel Verifiers has determined that the Series 2022A and 2023A DWAF Bonds are in conformance with the four core components of the ICMA Green Bond and Social Bond Principles and the Series 2021A and 2023A WPCLF Bonds are in conformance with the four core components of the ICMA Green Bond Principles, as described in Kestrel Verifiers’ ‘Second Party Opinion’, which are located in appendix I of the preliminary offering statements for the bonds.