Second-Party Opinions

Helping issuers bring green, social and sustainability bonds to market

Second party opinion

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 600 projects for issuers and their underwriters.

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

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 categories.

Key Benefits

Environmental or social issues

Enhance Awareness of Environmental or Social Issues

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

Investor Demand

Meet Growing Investor Demand

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

Investor confidence

Gain Investors’ Confidence

An SPO from a trusted ESG ratings provider, like Sustainalytics, provides additional assurance on the credibility of the issuer and the issuance.

Diversify

Diversify Issuer Investor Base

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

Market expectations

Meet Market Expectations 

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

Use of proceeds

Assess the Use of Proceeds  

An SPO assesses the impact of projects to be financed with the green/social bond’s proceeds.

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.

framework

Projects are aligned to the eligibility criterial in your framework.

metrics

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

process

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

Pre-issuance verification

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

Post-issuance verification

Post-issuance verification:

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


Ongoing verification

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

Trusted by our clients

Why Sustainalytics?

Market standard

A Single Market Standard

Consistent approach to ESG assessments across the investment spectrum.

Award winning

Award-Winning Research and Data

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

End to end

End-to-End ESG Solutions

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

Expertise

25+ Years ESG Expertise

350+ ESG research analysts across our global offices.

Largest second party opinion provider

Largest Second-Party Opinion Provider

As recognized by Environmental Finance and the Climate Bonds Initiative.

Related Insights and Resources

Sustainability-Linked Loans 2021: The COVID-19 Effect, ESG Ratings & Continued Popularity

The sustainable finance market has seen an exponential increase in size and activity in recent years. Innovative offerings such as green, social, and sustainable bonds, green and sustainability-linked loans (SLLs), and most recently sustainability-linked bonds, have contributed to the market’s incredible growth. In 2020, boosted by varied financial needs and mainstream recognition of environmental, social and governance (ESG) parameters, global sustainable debt capital surpassed US$700 billion, a 30% increase compared to 2019. Part of this capital was channelled towards tackling the effects of COVID-19 as government agencies, supranational bodies and corporates borrowed money to support areas most affected by the pandemic, such as healthcare. This shift in fund usage in 2020 resulted in the rapid growth of social bonds and a commendable first year for sustainability-linked bonds.

Tracking the Progress on Gender Equality through Sustainable Finance

A key result of achieving UN SDG 5 - Gender Equality is global economic development. However, as women globally were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the financing of activities that contribute to the empowerment and socio-economic advancement of women and girls will need to be accelerated to meet the goal by 2030. One option for creating targeted gender investment is the development and issuance of Gender Bonds that specifically support the advancement, empowerment, and equality of women.

Supply Chain Sustainability
Future-Proofing Supply Chains: Supply Chain Sustainability and Key Trends in 2021

Given the accelerating trends in sustainable supply chain management, integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations throughout the supply chain will be a key priority for companies in 2021 and beyond.

Gender equality supply chains
Gender Equality in Supply Chains: An Opportunity to Increase Positive Impacts

It’s well known that inequalities between men and women still exist in the workplace. Women are less likely to fill senior leadership positions (29% in North America), earn less (81 cents per dollar in the US) and own fewer businesses (39% of businesses in the US) than men.

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