Green bonds increase in Ireland with launch of Bank of Ireland's new framework

Sep 04, 2020

 

Bank of Ireland has entered the ‘green bonds’ market, potentially looking to raise a reported €300 million to €750 million in an initial green bond sale by the end of the year. 

It will use the money raised to finance customer projects that are in line with the International Capital Markets Association’s green-bond principles, such as renewable energy, green buildings and clean transportation. 

Green bonds were first issued the World Bank in 2009. Since then they have been increasingly issued by countries and companies to satisfy demand by investors for socially-responsible investment opportunities. The Climate Bonds Initiative, an international, investor-focused not-for-profit organization, estimates that $257.5 billion of green bonds was issued worldwide in 2019. 

In Ireland, the first green bonds were issued in 2018 by the National Treasury Management Agency.  The first Irish company to sell green bonds was ESB, which issued green bonds on the public bond markets in June last year.

Bank of Ireland is set to become the first Irish lender to issue them. Its €2 billion Sustainable Finance Fund, launched last year, has already provided about €600m in green loans to home owners and businesses and aims to encourage, among other things, SME and agri investment in energy efficiency. It also offers discounted finance to businesses who want to implement energy saving initiatives to reduce their energy costs and their carbon footprint. 

Bank of Ireland is a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking and a supporter of the the 2015 Paris climate agreement and the UN’s sustainable development goals.