Nordea has been elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the Green Bond Principles (GBP) and Social Bond Principles (SBP), as announced at its annual general meeting on 10 June 2021. The bank joins a select group of 24 underwriters, issuers and investors elected to the committee after a highly competitive selection process.
The GBP, SBP, Sustainability Bond Guidelines and the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles are the leading global framework for the issuance of green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked bonds. They provide guidance for issuers on reporting, disclosure and transparency, with the aim of helping investors assess the environmental and social impact of their investments.
The International Capital Market Association (ICMA) is the secretariat for the principles, and the Executive Committee is the governing body, deciding on any changes to the principles via market participation, consultations and working groups.
“We are very honoured to have been elected to the Executive Committee. As an active player in the sustainable debt markets, we are committed to not only supporting our clients but also driving the broader transition of the financial markets towards a more sustainable future. The Executive Committee has an important role to play, and we’re thrilled to be part of it,” says Jacob Michaelsen, Head of Nordea Sustainable Finance Advisory.
Setting ambitious goals
The Nordics have been at the forefront of the green bond market since its inception in 2007. In 2013, the City of Gothenburg became the first Nordic issuer, and first municipality worldwide, to issue a green bond. Swedish real estate company Vasakronan soon after issued the world’s first corporate green bond.
Active in the green bond market since 2014, Nordea has helped issue more than 280 sustainable bonds totalling more than USD 17 billion (in apportioned value, i.e. corresponding to Nordea’s share). The bank is also an active player in the social and sustainability bond space as both bookrunner and framework structurer.
In June, Nordea rose to the top of the all-time league table for Nordic corporate sustainable bonds.
The Sustainable Finance Advisory (SFA) team at Nordea is responsible for driving Nordea’s efforts on sustainable bonds and sustainable finance more broadly. The unit is supported by leading sustainable finance experts across Nordea and is engaged in many of the GBP/SBP working group discussions.
“A key priority is to continue to set ambitious goals for the direction of the market while ensuring that we align these goals with both investors and issuers,” says Michaelsen.
Nordea has a history of shaping the sustainable finance markets. The bank was chosen to be part of the European Commission’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance. It is also a founding member of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking, including the Global Banking Board.