A group of ten Nordic public sector issuers have released a joint position paper on green bonds impact reporting. Developed with the primary aim of assisting Nordic public sector borrowers, the signatories hope that it will prove useful also for issuers from the private sector and from other countries as well as for the investor community. The position paper, which has been 14 months in the making, was launched at the OECD Green Investment Financing Forum in Paris on 24 October 2017.
The paper has been developed by a working group comprising public sector green bond issuers from the four Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. They include the local government funding agencies Kommunalbanken (Norway), Kommuninvest (Sweden) and MuniFin (Finland); the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK); and six Swedish municipal or regional issuers including City of Gothenburg, the municipalities of Lund, Norrköping and Örebro, Region Skåne and Stockholm County Council. Denmark’s municipal lending agency KommuneKredit has been part of the working group but intends to comply at a later stage.
The paper proposes an outline for reporting environmental benefits of green bond investments. It provides guidance on general matters such as to report on actual impact when feasible, to distinguish between reduced and avoided emissions, and to report impact in relation to the share financed by green bonds. The paper also recommends issuers to report impact in relation to amounts disbursed and outstanding, as opposed to amounts committed.
The paper furthermore provides suggestions for metrics and indicators relevant to eight different project categories. This effort builds upon reporting approaches suggested by the Green Bond Principles and multilateral development banks, but adds indicators for categories such as clean transportation and green buildings, that have previously not been addressed.
As a first step toward approaching social impact, the paper includes a few social impact indicators on a ‘nice to have’ basis.
The paper has benefited from input from CICERO Center for International Climate Research, the Nordic Investment Bank, SEB, and Crédit Agricole CIB as well as several investors throughout the process.
The issuer group intends to manage the position paper as a live document, to be updated on a regular basis. The group encourages feedback and will seek to develop its methodology to provide as relevant and appropriate impact reporting as possible. Events to introduce the paper to issuers and investors are planned for a number of cities, with Frankfurt, London, Paris and Stockholm confirmed at time of the launch.