Environmental Finance’s Green Bond Awards have gone from strength to strength with the number of categories expanding to reflect the growth in the market. There are a total of 25 awards this year, compared to the 15 that were up for grabs last year, as the number of awards expands in order for the awards to reflect all the different parts of this young and vibrant market. The winners were decided by a panel of judges made up of some of the biggest green bond investors in the world. Dutch banks have also take the top spot for the second year running as the best bank issuer of green bonds, this time with green bond market stalwart Rabobank taking the gong.
Rabobank’s Green Bond
Rabobank’s €500 million ($561 million) green bond not only aims to give investors exposure to more than large-scale green projects, says Fadi Yakoub, funding manager at the bank. It also aims to link socially responsible fixed-income investors to sustainable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Rabobank’s green bond framework allows the bank to finance large solar and wind projects.
“Rabobank is committed to the green and sustainability bond market. The aim is to build a dedicated curve for green and sustainability bonds under our current framework”
Fadi Yakoub, Rabobank
But, it also allows the bank to finance sustainable SMEs that have received an internationally recognised sustainability certification, such as from the Business Social Compliance Initiative.
This dual approach allows areas that have traditionally been inaccessible to institutional investors to be financed, says Yakoub.
“Rabobank pioneered a green bond programme with a ‘dual approach’ that enables investors to invest in renewable energy projects as well as in small companies who excel in their sustainable and social approach but lack the size to issue green bond themselves,” he explains.
This is the second year that a Dutch bank has won Bond of the Year – Bank in Environmental Finance’s Green Bond Awards. Last year, ING was awarded the top spot for its $1.33 billion inaugural offering.