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Second-Party Opinion Download

Project Details


Novartis Sustainability-Linked Notes Second-Party Opinion



Project Type

Sustainability Linked Bond or Note

Industry Group


Use of Proceeds




Evaluation Date

Sep 2020

Evaluation Summary

Sustainalytics is of the opinion that the Novartis Sustainability-Linked Notes align with the Sustainability Linked Bond Principles 2020 and considers the KPIs to be relevant and material to the issuer and the SPTs to be credible and impactful. This assessment is based on the following:

Selection of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Novartis has selected two internally tracked KPIs, (i) Strategic Innovative Therapies Patient Reach and (ii) Flagship Programs Patient Reach, for the Sustainability Linked Notes (SLN). Sustainalytics considers the KPIs chosen to be relevant and material for the Group, and further considers the Flagship Programs (FP) KPI to be clear and credible. Sustainalytics notes the significant discretion of Novartis’ Executive Committee members in the selection of Strategic Innovative Therapies (SIT) considered in its SIT KPI to be a limitation.

Calibration of Sustainability Performance Targets (SPTs)

Novartis has established SPTs (2025 Patient Access Targets) to increase its KPI performance by 200% for the SIT KPI and 50% for the FP KPI by 2025. Sustainalytics considers the SPTs to be aligned with the issuer’s sustainability strategy. Sustainalytics further considers the SPTs for both the FP KPI and SIT KPI to represent material improvements based on past performance, and to support access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries.

Bond Characteristics

Novartis has disclosed that should the Group (along with its subsidiaries) fail to achieve one or both of the 2025 Patient Access Targets (SPTs), the associated coupon rate will increase by 0.25% commencing with the first interest payment date after 31 December 2025.


Novartis commits to report on an annual basis on its performance on the KPIs in its Annual Society ESG Report, which is aligned with market expectations.


Novartis commits to have external limited assurance conducted on its KPI performance for the baseline and at the date of the SPTs’ deadline in December 2025, which is aligned with market expectations.