Second-Party Opinions

Helping issuers bring green, social and sustainability bonds to market

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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

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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.

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Meet Growing Investor Demand

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

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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.

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Diversify Issuer Investor 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 

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

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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.

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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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25+ Years ESG Expertise

350+ ESG research analysts across our global offices.

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Largest Second-Party Opinion Provider

As recognized by Environmental Finance and the Climate Bonds Initiative.

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