ICMA Workshop: Introduction to Green Bonds
Date and Venue

Date: 14-15 October 2019

Time - Day 1:
Time - Day 2: 08:30-14:00


International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Limited
23 College Hill

Workshop Overview

Green, Social and Sustainability bonds are a means of raising finance for projects with environmental / social benefits. $200bn of Bonds were issued across the three formats in 2018 (source: HSBC). While green bond issuance was the mainstay ($169bn), the main areas of growth were Sustainability Bonds (+87% to $16.8bn) and Social Bonds (+35% to $13.5bn). For green bonds alone, there was issuance in 44 countries by 320 issuers (source: CBI), including no less than 204 new issuers.

Bonds aligned with the Green Bond Principles (GBP), Social Bond Principles and Sustainability Bond Guidelines have become a model for sound, scalable and widely supported practice in sustainable finance. These voluntary guidelines underpin the market by making recommendations for transparency and disclosure to issuers, helping investors to make informed decisions about the bonds' environmental features.

The GBP are supported by a global community of close to institutions and are used as a reference for best practice in developed and emerging markets.

Green bond learning for practitioners

This two-day course from ICMA provides a thorough and practically oriented introduction to the essentials of green bonds. Developed and delivered by a combination of leading market practitioners and ICMA’s green bond experts, the material also benefits from input from members of the GBP Executive Committee, comprising the elected representatives of the most significant issuers, investors and underwriters in the green bond market.

The course introduces underlying market drivers, the evolving regulatory framework and the main features of the green bond product and market based on the GBP. These will be brought to life by case studies from a wide range of leading market participants and service providers, representing the main types of actor in this market. It includes essential definitions of what constitutes a green bond issue and a detailed review of how the Green Bond Principles work. It explains practicalities from different perspectives, including those of the issuer, intermediary, investor, service provider and regulator. It spans the preparation and execution of issuance, the central role of external reviews, and the associated reporting, from use of proceeds reports to impact reporting. It introduces the role of intermediaries and explores strategies deployed by prominent investors in green bonds. Concepts are illustrated by examples from leading practitioners, and a wide range of case studies, notably on transactions and external reviews internationally, to help candidates prepare for practical implementation. The case studies offer relevant insights from across geographies and sectors. Importantly there are interactive workshops to cement key learning outcomes from the course participant’s perspective. While focusing on green bonds the course also looks at developments in the social and sustainable bond markets, which have started to flourish, building on the success of green bonds. ICMA & the GBP Executive Committee have led the way with the introduction of the Social Bond Principles and the Sustainability Bond Guidance in 2017.

After completing the programme, you should understand:
  • Recent trends and potential future developments and opportunities for green bonds
  • Views from practitioners at ICMA and the GBP Executive Committee and other key players on why the market matters and how it works
  • Foundation skills for taking part in the green bond market - how and why to align with and apply the GBP, including:
    • Benefits of green bonds and developing the positioning in your organisation
    • Decision-makers: Identifying who is relevant
    • Strategy: Alignment with overall corporate / environmental strategy
    • Regulation: The GBP’s importance in regulatory trends
    • Players: Mapping leading market players GBP-aligned issuance framework: 4 pillars of green bonds aligned with the GBP
  • Defining green: Types of environmental project eligible for green bonds
  • Reporting: Recommendations and practice in reporting, including use of proceeds and impact reports, and templates offered by the GBP
  • External reviews and other services: The role and value-added of service providers, notably external reviews foreseen by the GBP and increasingly by regulators.
  • Buy-side considerations: Integrating green bonds in investment strategy and practice
  • ICMA-GBP Membership & Services: Advantages of joining the GBP community - support and promote your future green bond activities
  • Crucially, you will acquire understanding of the perspectives and roles of the key players in the Green Bond market including –regulators, investors, underwriters, issuers, external reviewers including rating agencies, stock exchanges, data and index providers

Who should attend:
  • Firms who are looking to issue or invest in bonds linked to environmentally beneficial projects
  • Market professionals involved in underwriting, research or professional services for green bonds; this includes capital markets lawyers, external reviewers including rating agencies, stock exchanges, data and index providers official sector representatives promoting, supervising or developing policies on sustainable finance
  • Press, academics and other professionals with an interest in sustainable finance and the merits of green bond markets
Day 1

08:30 Registration
Course Overview & Discussion of Participants’ Priorities
Sustainable Finance and Green Bond Market Context
Green Bond product Snapshot
Coffee Break
Green Bond Characteristics – Main Pillars of the Green Bond Principles  

External Reviews including Certification – Role of CBI

Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Overview
Matteo Bigoni, Head of Certification, Climate Bonds Initiative
Case Study on External Review plus Guest Presentation
Market Governance and Regulation
Resources and Preparation for Market
Coffee break
In Focus : GBP Pillar 1
GBP Pillar 1 – Workshop
Wrap Up
17:00 Close and networking drinks

This agenda is subject to change

Day 2

08:30 Registration
Market Participants
In Focus: GBP Pillars 2-4
Coffee break
11:00 Underwriter Perspective
Opportunities and Challenges
Professional Resources and Joining the GBP/SBP Community
Open Discussion
14:00 End of course

This agenda is subject to change