To access the Principles, Guidelines and Handbooks click here.

Research and Learning
Sustainability Standards and Labels
Taxonomies & Nomenclatures
Social Bonds Working Group

The Social Bonds Working Group conducted a targeted investor survey between 2 March 2020 and 15 April 2020 with the aim of collecting information on (1) investor knowledge of social bonds (2) the current investor base of social bonds (3) investor expectations of social bond issuances, including reporting.

Based on the participation of 36 organisations, the survey highlights as well as aggregated results can be accessed here.
  Research Working Group

The Green and Social Bond Principles Research Working Group launched an Investor Survey in Q2 2018, targeting the buy-side to extract patterns of investor behaviour in the green, social and sustainability bonds market. Highlights of the results are available here.

During summer 2019, the Research Working Group undertook 3 surveys among the GBP SBP Members to evaluate the benefits of the Green, Social or Sustainability (GSS) Bond Market and to get a better understanding of the related organisation and strategies pursued by the issuers, the investors and the underwriters.
Highlights of the results: investor survey | issuer survey | underwriter survey



Public research resources

We are now maintaining a list of green, social and sustainability bond market public research resources with links.

View public research resources

See also: FinTech and Sustainable Finance Library


Market Databases and Indices

The Working Group on Databases and Indices has produced and maintains useful summaries of Green Bond Databases and Green Bond Indices available to the market.

Download the Green Bond Databases summary.

Download the Green Bond Indices summary.

Providers are encouraged to contribute to the continuous update of those summaries by sending relevant information to ICMA at greenbonds@icmagroup.org.


Learning Resources

Guidance for financing the Blue Economy, building on the Green Bond Principles and the Green Loan Principles
Blue Bonds and Blue Loans are innovative financing instruments that earmark funds exclusively for ocean-friendly projects and critical clean water resources protection. In January 2022, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has built on the Green Bond Principles and the Green Loan Principles and related resources, including the ICMA Handbook for Impact Reporting, to provide guidance on IFC’s implementation of Blue Finance in the context of green bonds and green loans (Guidelines for Blue Finance). This document identifies eligible blue project categories to guide IFC’s investments to support the blue economy, in line with the Green Bond Principles and Green Loan Principles. IFC aims to follow this Guidance document to finance the blue economy and encourage best practices that can enable the growth of Blue Finance globally.

Green Bond Tutorial
For those interested in better understanding the nature of green bonds, you can usefully refer to the presentation available on the World Bank website.

Guidance for Sovereign Green Bond Issuers
Drawing on lessons learned from Fiji’s recent experience, the IFC published on 20 March 2018 a document that outlines practical considerations sovereigns can take at each step of the process from preparation to issuance and post-issuance reporting. It is hoped that with this guide, more sovereigns will be able to issue their own green bonds.

The Sovereign ESG Data Portal
The World Bank launched on 29 October 2019 the Sovereign ESG Data Portal: a free, open and easy to use online platform that provides users with sovereign-level environmental, social and governance (ESG) data. The portal is designed to help investors better align ESG analysis with key sustainable development policy indicators and analysis, as well as to increase data transparency and support private sector investments in emerging markets and developing countries.

Green Bond Proceeds Management and Reporting
A Guide for public sector Green Bond issuers has been published in September 2018. This Guide, produced jointly by the World Bank Treasury and Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice, was written by Laura Tlaiye, sustainability advisor and independent consultant, under the overall guidance of Farah Imrana Hussain (Senior Financial Officer and lead green bond adviser, World Bank Treasury). The content benefited from the helpful contributions of green bond issuers in Fiji, Indonesia and Malaysia, who answered a questionnaire about existing systems and practices for financial management and results monitoring of their development investments, as well as the French Tresor. Investors and observers of the green bond market also provided informal feedback.

The IFC-supported Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) launched a new report on October 2018: “Creating Green Bond Markets – Insights, Innovations, and Tools from Emerging Markets”, prepared by IFC and the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) on behalf of the SBN. This report draws on a survey of over 22 emerging markets, 9 case studies, and a review of 13 country and regional green bond frameworks that have been launched or are in development. It was also guided by the SBN Green Bond Working Group members and observers from 21 countries and 30 organizations, including the International Capital Market Association (ICMA).

For reference, you can also refer to a summary of those MDBs practices and their alignment with the GBP addressing in particular examples and methodologies for the Use of Proceeds.


Sustainable Finance Initiatives

This page details some of the initiatives led internationally, regionally and nationally to further green and sustainable finance.

Main publications on this page include:
Green Loan Principles (GLP) (The Loan Market Association)
Sustainability Linked Loan Principles (SLLP) (The Loan Market Association)
ASEAN Green Bond Standards (ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF))
ASEAN Social Bond Standards (ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF))
ASEAN Sustainability Bond Standards (ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF))
Equator Principles
UN Sustainable Development Goals


Other Resources

A. Ceres
Ceres is a non-profit organization advocating for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful network of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy.
Ceres’ Statement of Investor Expectations for the Green Bond Market

B. Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI)
Climate Bonds Taxonomy is not a Green Bond Issuer but has developed an independent, third party standard.
https://www.climatebonds.net/standard/taxonomy
www.climatebonds.net

C. Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD)
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
http://www.oecd.org/greengrowth/

D. The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)
GRESB is an industry-driven organization committed to creating transparency in the sustainability performance of the global real estate sector. GRESB has issued Green Bond Guidelines for the Real Estate Sector.


 



The information on this Web page has been provided by third-party sources and is intended for general information only (the “Information”), and is not intended to be and should not be relied upon as being legal, financial, investment, tax, regulatory, business or other professional advice.  ICMA is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of the Information. ICMA does not represent or warrant that the Information is accurate, suitable or complete and neither ICMA nor its employees or representatives shall have any liability arising from, or relating to its use.


The Green Project Eligibility Working Group, coordinated by ING Bank and BNP Paribas AM (the full list of WG members can be found here) published in June 2020 the document 'Sustainability Standards and Labels' which provides an overview for green bond market participants to consider, when they are assessing the relevance, strengths and weaknesses of various sustainability standards or labels, as suitable reference for assessing green eligibility.

Furthermore, the Green Bond Principles encourages the standard setting bodies (including relevant standards, schemes or labels) to fill out the Green Bond Market Information on Sustainability Standards Form to support the gathering of green bond market relevant information on third party sustainability standards in a consistent and streamlined way.

Completed forms are available in the table below.




Sustainability Standard Setting Bodies

ORGANISATION NAME

SUSTAINABILITY STANDARD

MARKET INFORMATION ON SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS FORM

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) ASC Abalone Standard V1.1
ASC Bivalve Standard V1.1
ASC Flatfish Standard V1.0
ASC Freshwater Trout Standard V1.2
ASC Pangasius Standard V1.2
ASC Salmon Standard V1.3
ASC Seabass, Seabream, Meagre Standard V1.1
ASC Shrimp Standard V1.1
ASC Tilapia Standard V1.2
ASC Tropical Marine Finfish Standard V1.0
ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard V1.01
April 2021
Building Research Establishment (BRE) BREEAM October 2020
Dutch Green Building Council BREEAM-NL October 2020
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) FSC Principles and Criteria for Forest Stewardship FSC-STD-01-001 V5-2 EN
FSC Chain of Custody Standard FSC-STD-40-004
FSC Project certification Standard FSC-STD-40-006
FSC Procedure for Ecosystem Services FSC-PRO-30-006
November 2020
Fundación Instituto Tecnológico de Galicia (ITG) BREEAM ES December 2020
German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) BREEAM DE / AT In-Use Commercial 2013
BREEAM CH In-Use Commercial 2016
BREEAM DE / AT / CH In-Use Residential
BREEAM DE New Construction 2018
BREEAM AT New Construction 2019
February 2021
Global Seafood Alliance BAP Farm Standard 3.0 01
BAP Mollusk Standard 1.1
BAP Salmon Farm Standard 2.3
April 2021
Green Building Council of Australia Green Star v5 October 2021
Norwegian Green Building Council BREEAM-NOR November 2020
PEFC International Sustainable Forest Management – Requirements (PEFC ST 1003:2018) October 2020
Round Table on Responsible Soy Production Association (RTRS) RTRS Standard on Responsible Soy Production V3.1 March 2021
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) November 2020
Sweden Green Building Council BREEAM SE New Construction 2017 October 2020
U.S. Green Building Council LEED Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design June 2021

The Green Project Eligibility Working Group, coordinated by ING Bank (the full list of WG members can be found here) published in March 2021 the document Usability of taxonomies and nomenclatures for the Green, Social and Sustainable Bond markets which provides guidance on various nomenclatures and taxonomies used to assess green eligibility:

  1. why different market participants need well-structured sustainability information;
  2. what are nomenclatures and taxonomies; and
  3. usability considerations of nomenclatures and taxonomies.

Existing taxonomies and nomenclatures are numerous and taxonomies in particular often do not share the same or a similar basis. This makes it hard for market participants to reach conclusions about the suitability of their activities, projects and products eligible to be funded by green financing. This document aims to help market participants understand if and how the various different nomenclatures and taxonomies can be compared and what their usability considerations are.

ICMA Zurich

T: +41 44 363 4222
Dreikönigstrasse 8
8002 Zurich
ICMA London

T: +44 20 7213 0310
110 Cannon Street
London EC4N 6EU
ICMA Paris

T: +33 1 70 17 64 72
62 rue la Boétie
75008 Paris
ICMA Brussels

T: +32 2 801 13 88
Avenue des Arts 56
1000 Brussels
ICMA Hong Kong

T: +852 2531 6592
Unit 3603, Tower 2
Lippo Centre
89 Queensway, Admiralty
Hong Kong
 
Copyright © 2022 International Capital Market Association.