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Introduction to Green Bonds Course


Date and Venue

Date: 11 June 2019
09.00 - 17.00

Venue: Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Germany


This one day course from ICMA provided 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 benefited 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 introduced underlying market drivers, the evolving regulatory framework and the main features of the green bond product and market based on the GBP. These were 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 included essential definitions of what constitutes a green bond issue and a detailed review of how the Green Bond Principles work. It explained 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 introduced the role of intermediaries and explores strategies deployed by prominent investors in green bonds. Concepts were 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?

The programme is intended for:

  • 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

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Day 1


Course Overview and Discussion of Participants’ Priorities for the Day

Product Snapshot + Policy and Market Drivers

4 pillars of the Principles – interpretation and implementation

Introduction to Green Loans

External Reviews

Guest Presentation on Green Classifications

Green Bond Framework + External Review Case study workshop

Market Governance & Regulation

Issuance & Reporting Roadmap & Resources

Social & Sustainable Bonds - diversifying or scaling up your issuance

Economics of green investment – example

Market participants – role of investors, intermediaries and service providers

Investor example – approach of an asset manager

Opportunities & Challenges – including practical implications for issuance
  Professional resources for market participants - the GBP/SBP Platform
End of Course