ICMA EVENTS AND EDUCATION


Introduction to Green, Social and Sustainability (GSS) Bonds

New online self-study: register now for 1 December start

Green bonds which finance projects with environmental benefits have passed the $1trillion dollar milestone for the amount issued since the first ever green bond in 2007. Fast growth in this market sector is driving unprecedented demand for skilled professionals and for targeted training in the fundamentals of the products and the application of the Green and Social Bond Principles, the foundation for green and social bond issuance.

Like the classroom course, our online self-study options give you a deep understanding of the mechanics of green, social and sustainability bonds, taking you from the big picture policy context to introducing the underlying drivers of market development, main product features and regulation. We will talk about the Green and Social Bond Principles, the Sustainability Bond Guidelines and the new Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles and explain how they work in practice, including evaluation and selection of eligible projects for funding, the role of external reviewers and guidance on reporting. The course is illustrated with examples from the market, getting you ready to apply the knowledge at work and includes quiz questions for each module to ensure you're following the content.


RECENT PAST EVENTS AND EDUCATION


ICMA and JSDA Annual Green & Social Bonds Conference: Developments in Bond Markets Contributing to Sustainability under COVID-19 – Globally and in Japan, Tokyo (Hybrid/Zoom), 13 November 2020

The International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) together held their fourth annual conference on green and social bonds, this time in a hybrid format, on 13 November 2020. The event focused on recent developments in bond markets contributing to sustainable development globally and in Japan, as well as how the pandemic has changed the market.

Will the dramatic increase in social and sustainability bond issuance, driven by COVID-19, continue in the long term? How can bond markets support global sustainable economic recovery? What is the proper role of the official sector in terms of regulation, taxonomies, and sustainable finance incentives? And can we ensure that global recovery programmes have positive environmental and social impact?

These are some of the key questions that our featured speakers addressed, alongside a review of the progress of international initiatives in issuance, assurance and labelling of sustainable bonds including the new Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles and recent updates to the Social Bond Principles.

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ICMA Asset Management and Investors Council virtual event: Sustainable finance: Taking stock of regulatory developments, market trends and investors' needs, 23 October 2020

The ICMA Asset Management and Investor Council (AMIC) held a virtual panel discussion on the main policy developments on sustainable finance in Europe and other jurisdictions, how they will impact asset managers and the policy options looking forward.

Key topics included market trends and investors' needs, taxonomies, labels and standards, ESG data and disclosure, role of monetary policy and global cooperation.

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ICMA and ACMF virtual event: ASEAN Sustainable Capital Markets: Regulators’ perspectives, 21 October 2020

ICMA and the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) will brought together a distinguished panel of senior regulators from Southeast Asia for a virtual event on ASEAN green, social and sustainability bond markets, with a focus on the Roadmap for ASEAN Sustainable Capital Markets.

Speakers shared their experience and insights on topics including: development and further prospects for ASEAN sustainable bond and sukuk markets; government regulation and incentives in ASEAN jurisdictions to support sustainable finance; the ASEAN green, social and sustainability bond standards, and lessons learned for global emerging markets; and opportunities for global investors in ASEAN sustainable assets

The event also featured welcome remarks by the Asian Development Bank on sustainable finance in the region.

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ICMA virtual event: A new dawn for US corporates and investors in the global sustainable bond markets?, 14 October 2020

Green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked bonds, collectively sustainable bonds, are leading the way in channelling private capital into projects with environmental and social benefits, helping to the meet the challenges of climate change, environmental degradation and also the economic damage of the current pandemic.
 
Already this year issuance of sustainable bonds stands at over $315 billion and the market is on track to exceed last year’s volumes. US issuers are playing an important role in this dynamic trend with corporates including major tech firms now being active players. US investor interest continues to grow rapidly within the context however of an active debate on the relative merits of ESG strategies. A panel of market leaders debated how US investors & corporate issuers are taking up the ESG opportunity.
 
Other conference themes included: the role of the market in financing the response to the pandemic and the need to ‘build back better’, the potential of new sustainability-linked bonds in financing the transition to a decarbonised economy, and prospects for a breakthrough year for sovereign issuers in the sustainable bond markets.
 
Featured speakers included market leaders and innovators, including members of the Executive Committee of the Green & Social Bond Principles.

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Green recovery in Asia-Pacific and the role of capital markets, 22 September 2020

A panel of industry experts discussed ‘green and sustainable recovery’ in the Asia Pacific region, covering themes such as the potential role of sustainable bond markets; what markets and regional regulators can do to encourage sustainable investment in the region and the implications of international and national green taxonomies.

Speakers included:
  • Stella Saris Chow, Head of Sustainable Finance, International, ANZ
  • Dominique Duval, Head of Sustainable Banking APAC, Credit Agricole CIB
  • Kenneth Hui, Head of Market Development, Hong Kong Monetary Authority
  • Bernadette Victorio, Regional Program Lead, Fair Finance Asia
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ICMA online course: Introduction to Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds, 23-24 July 2020

Developed by a combination of leading market practitioners and ICMA’s sustainability experts, this livestreamed workshop provided a thorough and practical introduction to the essentials of green, social and sustainability bonds (GSS), featuring practical examples which illustrate the steps required for making a sustainable bond issue.

It introduced the underlying market drivers, evolving regulatory framework and the main features of GSS bonds based on the Green Bond Principles, the Social Bond Principles and the Sustainability Bond Guidelines, including essential definitions of what constitutes a GSS bond issue and a detailed review of how the Principles work.

While focusing on green, social and sustainability bonds, this workshop also briefly looked at new products and developments such as the recently issued Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles, the EU Taxonomy and EU Green Bond Standard.

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Key deliverables from the Green & Social Bond Principles AGM 2020: a presentation for the wider market, 22 June 2020

Following the Green Bond Principles (GBP) and Social Bond Principles (SBP) Annual General Meeting, members of its executive committee and working groups presented to the wider market the key deliverables that were recently announced, namely the new Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles and the updated Social Bond Principles, as well as a report on the status of the work on climate transition finance.

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2020 Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles Annual General Meeting, 9 June 2020

The 2020 Green & Social Bond Principles Annual General Meeting took place virtually on 9 June, hosted by the London Stock Exchange Group on its digital platform.

The Executive Committee of the Green & Social Bond Principles and ICMA presented in detail the work carried out over the last year by the Executive Committee, the different Working Groups and the newly established Advisory Council. The results of this year’s Executive Committee elections were also announced.

While focused on Green, Social and Sustainability Bond markets, many of these discussions were of relevance to the development of sustainable finance generally including emerging products such as sustainability-linked bonds.

Attendance of the AGM was restricted to members and observers of the GBP and SBP.

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ICMA virtual event: Social bonds – gaining traction, 27 May 2020

ICMA members and interested market participants joined us for a virtual event on social bonds and the implications for Asia Pacific.

Social bonds and other social-themed fixed income products are gaining traction with market participants and are especially relevant in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. In this virtual event, sustainable finance experts from ICMA and the market discussed key features of social bonds and other virus response bonds, ongoing development of the Social Bond Principles, and the applicability of social bonds in addressing socioeconomic issues including those arising from COVID-19.

The discussion was led by ICMA’s Simone Utermarck, Director, Sustainable Finance.

Panellists included:
  • Judy Li, Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, Ernst & Young
  • Helge Muenkel, Managing Director, Head of Asia Pacific, Global Capital Markets, ING Bank N.V., Singapore Branch
  • Rahul Sheth, Executive Director, Head of Sustainable Bonds, Standard Chartered
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ICMA webinar on the EU Green Bond Standards for US-based ICMA members & other market participants, 2 April 2020

ICMA US based members and other market participants joined us for a webinar on the EU Green Bond Standard (EU GBS) and potential market and regulatory implications.

The discussion was led by ICMA’s Nicholas Pfaff, Managing Director, Head of Sustainable Finance and Secretary to the Green Bond Principles (GBP). Nicholas Pfaff is also a member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG).
 
The briefing covered the following items:
  1. The EU Green Bond Standard and the EU Taxonomy
  2. The recent TEG publication of the Usability Guide for the EU GBS
  3. EU GBS’s relationship to the Green Bond Principles
  4. Potential implications for the international market and regulatory development
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ICMA and Swiss Sustainable Finance joint conference: Developments in the green bond markets – the Swiss perspective, Zurich, 29 January 2020
Hosted by Zürcher Kantonalbank

The global market for green bonds, providing finance for tackling climate change and other environmental projects, is growing rapidly, with Q3 2019 seeing green bond issuance at a historical high of over $35 billion.

In Switzerland, the momentum behind green bonds is beginning to build. This conference, jointly organised by ICMA and Swiss Sustainable Finance delegates heard about regional developments, with major Swiss issuers and investors describing the advantages of this form of finance.

In addition to the Swiss market perspective, there was a presentation on international trends in the green bond market and on green and sustainable loans.  

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ICMA and ASSIOM FOREX Conference: Developments in the Green, Social and Sustainability Bond Markets – Italy and Europe, Milan, 28 November 2019

The sustainable bond market has already experienced continued rapid growth in 2019, with global issuance this year now totalling over $150.76 billion. As the market has grown the Green Bond Principles, the Social Bond Principles and Sustainability Bond Guidelines – voluntary guidelines for issuers, supported by ICMA, have become the definition for a credible international green, social or sustainable bond issue.

This one day conference presented by ICMA and ASSIOM FOREX, in partnership with Banca IMI, looked at the increasing involvement of the official sector in promoting green finance in Europe and in Italy with particular emphasis on the European Commission’s proposed Green Bond Standard and its interaction with the Green Bond Principles and on government initiatives in Italy.

Speakers from the official sector and the industry discussed policy and innovation in support of the green bond market and how green bonds can be used to promote transition to a low carbon economy.

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Developments in Green, Social and Sustainability Bond Markets - Japan and Asia, Tokyo, 9 October 2019

The International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) held their third joint conference on the “Developments in Green, Social, and Sustainability Bond Markets—Japan and Asia” at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo.

Building on the strong interest in the previous events in Tokyo, rising awareness of sustainable investing and the rapid evolution of the market and international guidance, the conference this year attracted approximately 700 attendees.

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ICMA Future Leaders (IFL) summer networking reception: The future of sustainable finance, Zurich, 3 September 2019

ICMA members joined us for an evening of networking, featuring a discussion on sustainable finance and on potential career options in this rapidly growing market.

Sharing their insights, Mirjam Staub-Bisang, Country Head of BlackRock Switzerland and Giuseppe Cosulich, Head of Green Debt Capital Markets at Credit Suisse International looked at the latest developments in the market and what the sustainable finance sector can offer to attract talented young professionals who might be tempted by careers in FinTech and the culture of start-up companies.

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2019 Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles Annual General Meeting and Conference, Frankfurt, 13 June 2019
Co-hosted by the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany

Venue: Palmengarten Gesellschaftshaus, Frankfurt

The 2019 Green Bond Principles (GBP) and Social Bond Principles (SBP) Annual General Meeting and Conference was co-hosted by the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany and ICMA. The Green & Social Bond Principles are the most widely used framework for issuers in this international market, and continue to provide a foundation for new sustainable finance initiatives.

A landmark fixture for the sustainable finance sector, the conference covered topical areas including new corporate initiatives, sustainability classifications / taxonomies, emerging regulation, impact reporting and wider implications for corporate reporting, growth markets and a spotlight on developments in Germany. While focused on sustainable bond markets, many of these discussions were of relevance to other asset classes, including related products such as sustainable loans.

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