The Knowledge to Act


Second Opinions for Green and Sustainability Bonds

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There is a need to tap into new funding sources to accelerate the financing of sustainable infrastructure. Green and sustainability bonds are a new trend in the labelled bond market and are a viable response to the infrastructure finance gap. However, independent reviews are important to guarantee the sustainability credentials of these bonds for investors.

IISD is a trusted provider of Second Opinions for green and sustainability bond frameworks. Our Second Opinions are independent, research-based evaluations. Using a solid integrated methodology, we assess the green and sustainability credentials of these bond issuance frameworks. IISD provides this service jointly with CICERO Shades of Green, a leading global provider of Second Opinions.

Second Opinions are of value to both bond issuers and investors. They allow prospective issuers of green or sustainability bonds to obtain an independent verification about the quality of their framework and their governance capabilities. For investors, a Second Opinion allows the making of informed decisions and the investing of capital into truly green/sustainable projects. It provides insights into the sustainability value of projects to be financed (use of proceeds), the issuers’ capacities and governance structure for the selection of projects, the management of proceeds and their reporting strategy.

The enhanced market transparency created by published Second Opinions helps channel urgently needed capital towards sustainable infrastructure. This will contribute to achieving the SDGs and realizing low-carbon and climate resilient economies.

Expert Network on Second Opinions (ENSO)

IISD is part of the global Expert Network on Second Opinions (ENSO) and provides Second Opinions for Green and Sustainability Bond Investment Frameworks in close cooperation with CICERO Shades of Green. The ENSO network consists of independent non-profit research institutions specialising in climate change, environment and society. Other ENSO members are the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and Tsinghua University’s Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy.

ENSO operates independently from the financial sector and other stakeholders to preserve the unbiased nature and high quality of Second Opinions.

For more information about our Second Opinion services and the applied assessment methodology, please visit:

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