Second-Party Opinions for Green and Sustainability Bonds

Instill investor confidence in green and sustainability bonds with an SPO

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With investors further integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into their investment decisions, green and sustainability bond demand continues to rapidly grow. Sustainalytics has been a global leader in working with issuers to help in meeting this demand through our Second-Party Opinion (SPO) service for green and sustainability bonds.

Learn more about Sustainalytics’ green and sustainability bond 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 Sustainalytics’ Second-Party Opinion Service

As part of the issuance process, ICMA recommends and many investors expect green, social or sustainability bond frameworks to be aligned with the relevant Principles.

Prior to issuance it is recommended that issuers appoint an external reviewer to confirm alignment of the bond framework with the relevant Principles.

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Professional and Impactful

Our second-party opinion document will clearly highlight key aspects of your thematic bond and your sustainability strategy.

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Experienced and Award Winning

We have a large, dedicated and experienced team spanning geographies and time zones that has received multiple awards.

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Respected and Recognized Firm

A trusted leader in the global sustainable finance market with a portfolio of more than 600 second-party opinions covering a diverse set of issuers and industries.

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 green and sustainability bonds is high and these types of 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 or sustainability bond’s proceeds.

Use of Proceeds Assessment Service

At Sustainalytics we also offer a Use of Proceeds (UoP) Assessment. The assessment is an evaluation of the eligibility criteria for categories of sustainable projects that issuers intend to finance through sustainable finance instruments, such as green, social, sustainability and transition bonds or loans.

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Non-public Assessment

The final report is a non-public assessment that can be used by the issuer teams for internal purposes only eg. to inform the framework development process.

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Sustainalytics’ Methodology

The final report will be an assessment in line with Sustainalytics’ Use of Proceeds Financing methodology, informed by relevant ICMA principles.

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Option to Extend

Issuers can extend the engagements to a full Second-Party Opinion within 12 months.

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No SPO Commitment Required

Issuer can sign up for UoP assessment without committing to the full SPO.

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Contract Value

The UoP Assessment is priced at a discount versus an SPO and the contract value of the UoP assessment will be available as credit if the engagement is extended to a full SPO.

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Expedited Assessment

The UoP assessment has a quick turnaround time of 2 to 3 weeks.

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

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

800+ 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.

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