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ESG bonds

From the Collaborative Bond and Money Market Data Portal


In the Collaborative Bond and Money Market Data Model, the ESG classification appears as a binary value (yes or no) within the universe of Bond and Money Market Instruments.

An ESG Bond is a bond or Debt Instrument that complies with an ESG standard.

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance and it refers to the criteria used by investors to assess how an issuer manages its relationship with its employees and other key groups (Social), how it considers the way they impact the environment (Environmental) and the way the leadership, executive pay and internal controls are controlled within the entity (Governance).

There are a number of emerging standards, like the ICMA's Green Bond Principles, that determine if a Debt Instrument can be classified as ESG. The classification is often determined by a third-party consultancy specialised in assessing and monitoring adherence with these standards. In addition to ICMA’s Green Bond Principles, the EU is expected to release the ‘Sustainable Finance Taxonomy’ in 2021 which will allow investors to have a clear understanding of when an economic activity is environmentally sustainable or helps transition to a low-carbon economy in the future

ESG debt instruments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Climate Awareness bonds: Fixed-income instruments to climate change solutions.
  • Social bonds: Bonds whose proceeds are used to fund projects with positive social outcomes.
  • Blue bonds: Debt instrument to finance marine and ocean-based projects.
  • Green bonds: Fixed-income instrument to fund specific climate and environmental projects.
  • SDG Bonds: Fixed-income instruments used to fund an entity’s to target thematic objectives. For further information on the UN’s SDGs see the following link.
  • Sustainability bonds: Bonds specifically used to fund green and social projects.

Based on available data, on the 1st of September 2020 the total amount of outstanding green bonds reached USD 877.6bn.

Any instrument that falls under any of the above definitions will be classified as ESG for the purpose of simplicity. At the Collaborative Market Data Portal, a Debt Instruments is classified as ESG where either the instrument is listed on an ESG or similar exchange or where the issuer or a dealer has communicated that it is an ESG debt instrument.

For information on the current size of the Green Bond Market, please use CMDportal's data sheet tool. Select the Green Bond tick box.
For information on issues in Green Bond market, please use CMDportal's Instrument search tool. Select the Green Bond tick box in Advanced Search.
For information on the composition of the Green Bond Market, please CMDportal's issuer search tool.
For information on active dealers in the Green Bond Market, please use CMDportal's dealer search tool.

Related Terms

Climate Awareness bonds, social bonds, blue bonds, sustainability bonds, green bonds and SDG bonds