Stockholm (NordSIP) – In its 2020 Bond Awards, Environmental Finance recognised 47 distinct contributions to sustainable finance by various entities from across the world. Among Nordic organisations, four were rewarded for their contributions: Kommunalbanken Norway (KBN), the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), Ørsted and CICERO Shades of Green.
The awards recognise organisations and financial entities that excel, innovate and contribute to the successful development of the market. The awards are compiled with the help of an independent panel of judges, who are investors in the market.
KBN won the “impact report of the year” award. In its decision, Environmental Finance highlighted the fact that KBN maps the impact of its investments onto the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as its exemplary use of infographics presenting key figures. Another highlight was KBN’s use of the methodology presented by the Nordic public sector issuers position paper on green bonds impact reporting. “We consider coherent and transparent impact reporting to be a precondition for a well-functioning labelled bond market and will strive to move the front of this exercise also in the future,” Torunn Brånå, Head of Green Finance at KBN, said on this occasion, according to Environmental Finance.
The NIB received the “Award for innovation – use of proceeds”. for its inaugural Blue Bond. The bond was reviewed by CICERO and its proceeds are meant to finance selected projects in the Nordic region, including seven upgraded or new wastewater treatment plants and one flood prevention project. According to Environmental Finance, its judges lauded this “unique” and specialised water management product design.
Ørsted received the award for Green Bond of the Year, in the corporate category for the £900 million inaugural green bonds it issued in three tranches at beginning of May 2019. According to Environmental Finance, at the time of its issuance, it was the largest ever Sterling green bond offering. It was also the first multi-tranche Sterling green bond offering, and the largest ever Sterling green bond inflation-linked offering.
Last but not least, Environmental Finance also recognised Oslo-based CICERO Shades of Green as the top “External assessment provider of the year” for the fourth consecutive time. One awards judge commented that “Cicero has been leading the market for years with sound opinions based on research and the necessary differentiation of their shades of green.” The second opinion provider reviewed 29.9% of the deals, behind Sustainalytics, another provider of external assessments. However, Environmental Finance noted some controversy associated with the light green ratings CICERO granted Teekay Shuttle Tankers, a Canadian ship-owner specialising in oil and gas transportation, and Swedavia, the state-owned Swedish airport operator.