Sustainable bonds, which focus on providing financing for environmental and social objectives and advancement, surpassed the USD 2 trillion-dollar milestone in September 2021, 14 years after the first green bond in 2007. The various sustainable bond principles, for which ICMA is the secretariat, remain the foundation of the global marketplace and practices.
This course is designed for professionals who already have a reasonable understanding of fixed income but need to know more about the theory and real market application of sustainable bonds and all the ICMA principles (green, social, sustainability and sustainability linked), coupled with the rapidly evolving global policy, taxonomies, and other relevant regulation. We will use practical examples and case studies throughout the course to enhance the learning. The course will be further enhanced with presentations from leading market participants – e.g., investors, external reviewers and issuers.
By completing this course you will be able to:
- Identify and apply the key components of the ICMA Green Bond, Social Bond and Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles and the Sustainability Bond Guidelines, including their governance.
- Discuss the practical application of a Sustainable Bond/Finance Framework and the follow-on impact reporting from a sustainable bond.
- Discuss how the ICMA Climate Transition Finance Handbook works and how issuers can align with its guidance as we progress towards the Paris climate goals.
- Recognise the different types of external reviews such as SPOs that can be assigned to sustainable bonds and frameworks.
- Appreciate the wider context of practicalities of the sustainable bond marketplace including the steps in coming to market, what investors are looking for and have come to expect, the role of indices, listing authorities and data providers, etc.
- Link the main regulations and legislative initiatives that resulted from the 2018 EU Action Plan with an emphasis on the EU’s Disclosure Regime. Specifically Article 8 under the EU Taxonomy, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the proposed Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
- Describe the how the EU Taxonomy works and appreciate the proposed EU Green Bond Standard. Identify the main features of other global taxonomies and standards and the interplay of those with the sustainable bonds market and the Principles.
Who should attend?
The qualification is intended for candidates who have at least basic grounding in the fixed income markets and some awareness of sustainable finance that are seeking an in depth understanding of the theory and practical application of sustainable bonds. Given the complete nature of the course it is well suited to investors, issuers, debt capital markets bankers, reviewers, researchers, lawyers and any others that touch this rapidly growing and key marketplace.
The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions of which candidates must answer a minimum of 30 questions correctly, with a score of 45 or more earning a distinction. You will have six months in which to study the material, book and complete an online, fully invigilated exam.
We use a third-party exam invigilation service called ProctorU to administer the exams on our assessed courses. We recommend you take a few minutes to watch this video before you take your exam, which provides information on what to expect on the day. You can also take a look at some further information here.
More information regarding your specific exam will be attached to your joining instructions and on Canvas, the ICMA training platform.
Certification and Programme Recognition
This course is certified by ICMA and accredited by CPD® Certification Service.
ICMA recommends that 50 learning hours can be associated with this course, based on attended/undertaken hours of study required to successfully complete the learning outcomes.
A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who successfully pass the final exam of this course – see Assessment section for more details.
ICMA is a member of the CPD® Certification Service and approved by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong as provider of Continuous Professional Training (CPT).
Please note that your course certificate of attendance or completion should be sufficient to satisfy any professional development requirements – if you require further evidence, please contact us at email@example.com.
Sustainable Finance Overview
- Big Picture: Main Policies and Initiatives
- Governance of the Principles
- Sustainable Bond Product Snapshot
- Dynamics in the Sustainable Bond Market
- Global initiatives, standards, uptake, incentives
- Green Bond Frameworks
Use of Proceed Principles
- Pillar 1: Use-of-Proceeds
- Pillar 2: Process for Project Evaluation and Selection
- Pillar 3: Management of Proceeds
- Pillar 4: Reporting
- The Social Bond Principles
SLBs + Transition Finance
- Sustainability Linked Bond Principles
- Climate Transition Finance Handbook
- Global transition finance - COP26, global uptake, EU taxon, SBTi, TPI
External reviews and reporting
- Overview of External Reviews (included CBI certification)
- Allocation and Impact Reports
Coming to Market
- Market participants
- Preparing for market
- Context setting: taxonomies, eligibility approaches etc.
- GBP’s green eligibility guidance
- EU Taxonomy
- China Green Bond Catalogue and other national taxonomies
- Common Ground Taxonomy, CBI Taxonomy and other market-based Taxonomies (MDBs-IDFC&ISO)
- Context & Regulatory environment
Standards and Labels
- Context setting: GBP and its global influence
- The EU Green Bond Standard
- Climate Bonds Standard
- EU Ecolabel and other sustainable fund labels
Our livestreamed courses are delivered via video conferencing accessed on our digital learning platform, using the most effective pedagogical approaches and incorporating interactive functions like virtual breakout rooms.
The Sustainable Bond Certificate live sessions are delivered in eight 3.5 hour sessions over the course of three weeks. You will be given access to the course materials a week before the live sessions begin, and you will have access to those for a total of six months. During these six months you will have the option to keep working through the course materials at your own pace. Please note to ensure you book and take the exam within these six months.
Livestreamed course fees
ICMA Members: EUR 3,950 + VAT (if applicable)
Non Members: EUR 4,950 + VAT (if applicable)
Our classroom courses are delivered in-person at a confirmed location.
The Sustainable Bond Certificate classroom sessions will be delivered in London over 4 full days of training. Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be provided during the course but please note these courses are not catered. If you have any dietary requirements please let us know when you complete the registration form.
You will be given access to our learning management system and the course materials before the live sessions, and will have access to those for a total of six months. During these six months you will have the option to keep working through the course materials at your own pace. Please note to ensure you book and take the exam within these six months.
110 Cannon Street
Classroom course fees*
ICMA Members: EUR 4,850 + VAT (if applicable)
Non Members: EUR 6,200 + VAT (if applicable)
*Our prices do not include travel/accommodation. Please do not book any logistics until you receive email confirmation that the course will go ahead. This will be provided 4 weeks in advance of the start date.
For security reasons, delegates who have not registered in advance will not be admitted to the sessions.
- All payments must be made in Euro.
Should you have any queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.