November saw the inauguration of the SFIL green bond framework, with a covered bond from Caffil, as well as one of the sustainable projects it is helping finance. The group’s Philippe Mills and Sami Gotrane explain how green and social bond issuance reflect its public policy goals.
Overall ESG strategies are as important to investors as the specifics of green bonds, as they seek to avoid green-washing and encourage brown issuers to make the transition to sustainability.
Asset growth, EU sustainable finance initiatives and pricing benefits could all help green bond supply rise to meet the growing demands of investors, according to speakers at an LBBW conference on 1 March, where a broadening of issuance, particularly into social bonds, was called for.
The development of the Social Bond Principles and a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals are among catalysts helping the social bond market grow in the slipstream of green bonds. Pioneering and future issuers and others shared their experiences and expectations with Sustainabonds for this timely roundtable.
Recent inaugural green senior non-preferred issues could represent the first green steps down the capital stack by financial institutions. Crédit Agricole CIB and our sister publication Bank+Insurance Hybrid Capital gathered together specialists in bank capital and green bonds to explore how green subordinated debt could work and help put the financial system on a path to sustainability.
Issuers wishing to win over investors with SRI mandates not only need to deliver green and social bonds, but must demonstrate how these fit into a broader sustainability strategy for the future — that was the key takeaway from a Sustainabonds roundtable hosted by SFIL in Paris on 24 May, where the market’s growth, EU initiatives, and pricing were debated.
Ahead of 150th birthday celebrations on 8 May marked by a gift of saplings to its home city, Berlin Hyp tightened its pioneering green bond framework and revealed an increasing positive environmental impact from the programme.
Green bonds backed by mortgages might seem a natural source of supply from banks. However, a lack of joined-up data is forcing banks to be creative in carving out pools of energy efficient loans. Neil Day explores the building blocks for a bigger market with ABN AMRO’s Joop Hessels.
Those that have broken new ground in sustainable bonds say they have been vindicated by the “unstoppable” movement, while issuance has catalysed internal change as well as attracting new investors. And hopes for the future are high. Tom Revell reports from LBBW’s European Covered Bond Forum in Mainz on 1 March.
The German banking industry can boast pioneers of the green bond market, but overall the country lags its peers. What lessons can financial institutions in general learn about making the transition to sustainability from the experience of Europe’s largest economy?