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Region Stockholm updates Nordic Position Paper – guide to green bonds impact reporting

Together with ten other Nordic public sector issuers the Region Stockholm has updated the Position Paper – a guide to green bonds impact reporting, originally launched in October 2017. The initiative has been very appreciated among investors and the financial society, in the Nordic countries and in EU.

The updated version includes several improvements and clarifications over the previous version, as well as recommendations regarding the reporting of climate-related physical risk and the Sustainable Development Goals. The guidelines make the reporting efforts easier, while at the same time making the different reports more harmonised and comparable to the reader

The purpose of the paper is to harmonise the methodology for climate finance reporting and it proposes an outline for reporting environmental benefits of green bond investments. The Position Paper provides guidance on general matters such as to distinguish between reduced and avoided emissions and to report impact in relation to disbursed green bond allocations.

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.

Highest rating for Region Stockholm's framework for green bonds.

Region Stockholm's upgraded framework for green bonds receives the highest possible rating, dark green, as announced by the independent institute that conducted the assessment.

The independent analyst firm CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo) has evaluated Region Stockholm's new framework for green bonds. The new framework highlights Region Stockholm's work for Agenda 2030 and specifies how the work with green bonds is done and reported.

- The high rating gives Region Stockholm proof that we are developing our work in the right direction. Issuing a green bond requires a framework that describes how the process for the selection of green projects is done. Well-developed sustainability work makes more green bond investors possible. Loans through green bonds also previously proved to provide a lower interest rate on our loans, says Frida Korneliusson, CEO at AB Stockholms Läns Landsting Internfinans.

CICERO confirms that the Region Stockholm's new framework for green bonds are in line with ICMA's Green Bond Principles and provides a strong future-oriented attitude towards green financing of projects that reduce emissions and increase resilience to climate change. Other factors that they weigh in are that the framework focuses on environmental impact and climate risks in provision of health care and public transport.

Region Stockholm has issued two new green bonds

The latest green bonds issued took place in May 2019 when Region Stockholm issued two times SEK 1.0 billons in two green bond notes with a 6-year and a 6-year and 8 months maturity. It was the seventh and eighth green bond issued by Region Stockholm.

Projects that benefit from the proceeds of these green bonds issuance include projects supporting green transportation and green buildings. Roslagsbanan's expansion programme, accounting for 70 percent of use of proceeds, will increase capacity by almost 100 percent from 2016 to 2030, reduce noise levels, decrease sensitivity to traffic disruption, and improve safety in the rail system. A new hospital building at Huddinge Hospital, accounting for 30 percent of use of proceeds conferring to Region Stockholm plan to provide for future health and medical care demand.

Green bonds and private placements

A green bond means the money will be used solely to fund various environmental projects within the Region Stockholm's framework for green bonds and environmental programmes.

A private placement is a non-public bond transaction that is aimed at only a few investors. The purpose of a private placement is a fast borrowing process with less administration.