Thirty-seven banks with a 45% share of European mortgage lending are participating in the pilot scheme of the Energy Efficient Mortgages Initiative, which was launched yesterday (Thursday), under which they will test implementation of a new framework with a view to creating a final product.
DNB Boligkreditt has established a green covered bond framework based on residential mortgages for the most energy efficient properties in Norway, after compatriot SpareBank 1 Boligkreditt tightened its criteria on the basis of feedback during its Climate Bonds Initiative certification process.
The European energy efficient mortgages initiative – comprising EeMAP and EeDaPP – aims to bring together lenders, builders, utilities and others to create a standardised product to benefit 500 million EU citizens and the planet. Luca Bertalot, secretary general of the EMF-ECBC, which is leading the project, spoke to Sustainabonds ahead of the launch of a pilot phase in June.
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.
Hypo Vorarlberg reflected its state’s environmental ambitions with the first Austrian green bank bond on 12 September, a EUR300m five year deal that was also the first senior unsecured issue from the country since the Heta crisis, with its green status deemed a factor in smooth execution.
The EMF-ECBC is hoping to gain European Commission support and funding for developing a data protocol that would help optimise its energy efficient mortgages initiative, although a speaker at a plenary meeting of the industry body warned that “the best is the enemy of the good”.