Richard Reporting - The latest on green bonds

In 'Richard Reporting', Head of Sustainable Banking Richard Kooloos visits a range of colleagues to find out what they're achieving in the sustainable arena. His interviewees on green bonds are Joop Hessels and Dick Ligthart.

A green bond is a fixed-income instrument for investment in sustainable projects - sustainable real estate, for instance, or green energy. This is how it works: an institutional investor, a pension fund, say, invests in a debt security issued by a bank or a company. This green bond is intended to help finance sustainable projects and pays interest. When buying such green bonds, institutional investors know exactly what sustainable impact their issuers hope to achieve. An independent assurer checks that the money is spent well and transparently. 

In June 2015, ABN AMRO was the first European bank to launch a EUR 500 million green bond, and it recently issued its third. The proceeds of these green bonds are used to finance or refinance mortgages for energy-efficient homes, lending for solar panels and sustainable commercial real estate. ABN AMRO also advises commercial clients on creating their own green issues and acts as a consultant to companies issuing such bonds to investors. In 2017 ABN AMRO supported 12 different companies and banks in setting up and issuing green bonds, including banks such as Swedbank and Barclays, and energy player Innogy. By helping clients set up green bonds, ABN AMRO is doing its bit to make this market take off.

On 28 March, news platform Environmental Finance, which specialises in sustainable investments and green finance, named ABN AMRO 'Green Bond Lead Manager of the Year' in the banking category.