Second-Party Opinions

Helping issuers bring green, social and sustainability bonds to market

Second-Party Opinions

Knowing that your green, social or sustainability bond framework is aligned to market expectations has become a critical part of the issuance process. 

That’s why the world’s leading green, social and sustainability bond issuers, including Fortune 500 companies, sovereigns, foundations and other organizations have looked to Sustainalytics as a trusted second-party opinion provider. Sustainalytics’ second-party opinion service has won multiple awards and continues to be an industry leader, having successfully completed more than 900 projects for issuers and their underwriters.

Learn more about Sustainalytics’ leading second-party opinion service.

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Find out how the path of green finance has evolved, as well as our view on where the sustainable finance bond market is headed. 

Overview of our Second-Party Opinion Service

A second-party opinion (SPO) from Sustainalytics provides investors with assurance that the bond framework is aligned to accepted market principles (e.g. the Green Bond Principles or the Green Loan Principles) and that the proceeds of the bond or loan, as set out in the framework, are aligned to market practices and expectations from the investment community.

Our second-party opinion services can be applied to a variety of Bond & Loans categories.

Key Benefits

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Enhance Awareness of Environmental or Social Issues

Issuers/borrowers can highlight their green assets or their work in addressing sustainability goals to investors and other stakeholders.

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Meet Growing Investor/Lenders Demand

As the importance of sustainability grows, an increasing number of investors / borrowers are making pledges on climate action and sustainable finance.

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Gain Investors’/Lenders Confidence

A Sustainalytics SPO provides additional assurance on the credibility of the issuer/borrower.

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Diversify Issuer/Lender Base

The demand for thematic bonds is high and green, social and sustainability bonds tend to be oversubscribed.

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Meet Market Expectations 

A SPO assesses the alignment of the bond/loan framework with recognized International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA) Principles.

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Use of Proceeds, Key Performance Indicators and Sustainability Performance Targets  

A SPO assesses the impact of projects to be financed with the bond/ loan proceeds.

Sustainalytics SPO Plans

The green and social bonds market is growing rapidly and is constantly evolving. To make informed decisions, investors and lenders increasingly rely on ESG data and independent reports to assess a firm’s exposure to material sustainability issues and measure the impact of the investments made.

Sustainalytics can provide companies and issuers with an SPO plan that provides you with various credible independent reports to suit your ESG needs and business requirements.

In order to meet a variety of needs of the market, we offer three plans for our SPO products:

What's Included in the Plans:

 SPO Assessment PlanEssential SPO PlanComprehensive SPO Plan
Second-Party Opinion
Annual Review
Pre-Issuance Review
Pre-Issuance Impact Report
Post-Issuance Impact Report

Learn more about Sustainalytics SPO plan. 

 

Enhance Your Bond Framework

Annual Review

Issuers are continuously under pressure by investors and the market to ensure their bond framework is aligned well past the issuance process. With our Annual Review service, we work with issuers post issuance to ensure that the projects financed and the reporting are aligned with the intended use of proceeds and commitments set out in the bond framework.

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Projects are aligned to the eligibility criterial in your framework.

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You are reporting on impact metrics as outlined in your framework.

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Allocation processes and reporting are as outlined in the bond framework.

Climate Bond Verification

Leading companies are examining their climate-related business risks as well as their role in climate change mitigation. Climate bonds are used to finance projects that address climate change and are aligned with achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. As a Climate Bonds Standard Board approved external reviewer, Sustainalytics has completed more climate bond verifications than any other external reviewer in the market for 2020

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Pre-issuance verification:

Verify that projects and assets are eligible under relevant sector eligibility criteria and that internal processes and controls exist to manage bond proceeds

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Post-issuance verification:

Through our assessment, provides issuers with a report stating whether the bond meets the Climate Bonds Standard’s post-issuance requirements


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Ongoing verification:

Issuers must annually report on their bond to comply with the Climate Bonds Standard’s post-issuance requirements to maintain a bond’s certification. 


EU Taxonomy

Sustainalytics offers issuers the ability to include in its second-party Opinion an additional assessment that aligns the issuer’s bond or loan framework with the EU Taxonomy. Adding the EU Taxonomy to a second-party opinion assures the market and investors that the bond or loan framework is aligned to the EU’s six environmental objectives, giving confidence and reputability during issuance.

Sustainalytics’ assessment considers the following general requirements for a bond framework’s alignment with the EU taxonomy:

EU Taxonomy process

Trusted by our clients

Why Sustainalytics?

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A Single Market Standard

Consistent approach to ESG assessments across the investment spectrum.

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Award-Winning Research and Data

Firm recognized as Best ESG Research and Data Provider by Environmental Finance and Investment Week.

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End-to-End ESG Solutions

ESG products and services that serve the entire investment value chain.

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30 Years of ESG Expertise

500+ ESG research analysts across our global offices.

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A Leading SPO Provider

As recognized by Environmental Finance and the Climate Bonds Initiative.

Related Insights and Resources

Does ESG Impact Valuation? Answering the Most Common Questions About IPO ESG Assessments

Companies working toward an IPO increasingly understand that having an effective ESG strategy is an important strategic consideration for investors and regulators alike. This FAQ answers the most common questions about what an ESG assessment involves.

Preparing for an IPO: How an ESG Assessment Can Make a Difference

For pre-IPO companies, having a plan to manage ESG issues and disclosures can make a difference in pre-IPO fundraising, valuation, building credibility in the market, and contributing to the overall success of an IPO. This blog post explains why.

ESG for IPOs: Becoming ESG-Ready for Your Initial Public Offering

ESG for IPOs: Becoming ESG-Ready for Your Initial Public Offering

Learn why pre-IPO companies need to focus on ESG issues to attract key investors, make their companies more competitive, and help build solid reputations.

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The Road to Our 1000th SPO: How We Got Here and What’s Next in Sustainable Finance

As a global leader in second-party opinions (SPOs) of sustainable bonds and loans, Sustainalytics maintains a unique vantage point to observe how the market has changed. Here are some noteworthy developments.

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