Voluntary Process Guidelines for Issuing Green Bonds


Courtesy of Ceres


Green Bonds enable capital-raising and investment for new and existing projects with environmental benefits. Recent activity indicates that the market for Green Bonds is developing rapidly. The Green Bond Principles (GBP) are voluntary process guidelines that recommend transparency and disclosure and promote integrity in the development of the Green Bond market by clarifying the approach for issuance of a Green Bond. The GBP are intended for broad use by the market: they provide issuers guidance on the key components involved in launching a credible Green Bond; they aid investors by ensuring availability of information necessary to evaluate the environmental impact of their Green Bond investments; and they assist underwriters by moving the market towards standard disclosures which will facilitate transactions.

The GBP include guidelines for: Use of Proceeds, Process for Project Evaluation and Selection, Management of Proceeds, and Reporting. There is diversity of opinion on the definition of Green Projects; therefore it is not the intent of the GBP to opine on the eligible Green Project categories. The GBP recommend issuers communicate their Use of Proceeds categories clearly so that investors can determine the bond's consistency with their investment strategy. The transparency and disclosure recommended by the GBP are intended to provide the informational basis for the market to increase capital allocation to environmentally beneficial purposes without any single authority or gate keeper.

The four banks that served as a drafting committee for the Principles will propose in 2014 a governance process that will allow for diverse stakeholder input into the GBP. It is anticipated that an independent third party will be designated to serve as a secretariat whose administrative duties will include facilitating information exchange with issuers, investors, underwriters, and other stakeholders such as non-profit environmental organizations, non-government organizations, academics and other thought leaders.

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