Record Month for Green Bonds

Record Month for Green Bonds

Green Bonds can help governments raise finance for projects to meet climate targets and are enabling investors to achieve sustainability objectives. Like conventional bonds, green bonds allow the bond issuer to raise funds for specific projects or ongoing business. The “green” label tells investors that the funds raised will be used to finance environmentally beneficial projects.

A recent study by BloombergNEF (BNEF) published that Green bonds have passed their biggest milestone yet, with more than $1 trillion issued since these securities first emerged in 2007. More than $200 billion worth of green bonds – which are used to finance the pursuit of environmental projects and activities, from wind farms to wastewater management – have been issued in 2020 thus far.

Green bonds have become known for their impressive growth, with global issuance increasing every year to date, reaching a record of more than $270 billion last year. However, for 2020 the trend is slightly changing. Still, there were in September, more than $50 billion bonds issued. Germany federal government issued a 6.5 billion-euro ($7.7 billion) sovereign bond at the start of the month, making it this year’s biggest single new green bond. Adidas, French electricity firm EDF and telecommunications firm Orange, along with Germany, Egypt and Sweden, all issued green bonds last month, helping the volume jump by five times from August.

The integration of environmental, social and governance criteria has never been more important for investors than in 2020.

The ICMA defines green bonds as those which finance renewable energy, energy efficiency, biodiversity, pollution reduction and other similar projects.

Today, renewable energy is present in around half of all green bonds issued. The cumulative issuances of green bonds are below USD 1 trillion, while the global bond market is valued at around USD 100 trillion, accounting for less than 1% of cumulative global bond issuances. To grow the green bond market, co-operation between policymakers, standard setters, capital providers and investors is essential.

Last month’s boom is due in part to the fact that many operations were postponed earlier in the year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The sector still has to improve the evaluation of projects that receive the green label, however.

Other companies, such as luxury house Chanel, issue so-called sustainability-linked bonds meanwhile, reports Straitstimes. The proceeds from these bonds can be used to finance any type of project, but the borrower makes pledges to meet certain sustainability targets and pays a penalty if they fail.


Sustainable Startups in CEE

Sustainable Startups in CEE

In a world of limited resources and to cope with global challenges, the world needs new ways of production and consumption. Innovative and sustainable ideas are needed that contribute to shaping our world more ecologically. There is a rise in sustainable startups in CEE – changing the world towards sustainability.

The CEE region continues to evolve and compete to be at the forefront of the European tech startup scene. Moreover, CEE startups produced over 10 unicorns with a combined value of €30 billion. 

We’ve focused on these five Eastern European start-ups that are working to make the world a greener place. Sustainable startups in CEE are looking to optimize various processes within the value chain and thereby drastically reduce the ecological footprint. 


Top 5 Sustainable Startups in CEE


The role of the startups is proven to be important in the innovation process. Therefore, sustainable recovery needs to be backed by venture capital, governments, industry, investors, and other stakeholders. These five sustainable startups in CEE have emphasized the importance of sustainability and climate change the world is facing.

Aeriu – Hungary

Aeriu is a Hungarian startup helping companies to manage inventory while providing a safer environment. Aeriu found a replacement for Forklifts and Electric Scissor Lifts which are using 72 kW electricity in one hour. Since the online business has been booming, the inventory management system has been more and more in the focus of companies. In most companies, it still goes through a manual process which is very complex. Slow, uncertain and it requires more resources: working time, forklift trucks, and energy. Aeriu focuses on simplifying and optimizing this process.

Poland sustainable startups

Handerek Technologies – a sustainable startup from Poland created a patented technology that transforms waste plastic into low carbon alternative fuels. Poland has gained a reputation in the past few years as the new startup-friendly ecosystem. Moreover, this sustainable startup is one more tech startup that has risen from Poland.

This company built a prototype reactor that works via a circulating liquid heat carrier, that allows controlled surface heating. The controlled heating is important to prevent the raw material from burning. The fuel has been tested by the Automotive Industry Institute in Warsaw and the fuel complies with European Standards.

Another sustainable startup from Poland is Make Grow that transforms organic waste such as fruit or vegetables into sustainable packaging or leather alternatives. The organic waste is woven through a biological process and thus turned into material.  The final product is 40 times stronger than paper, 100% plastic-free, not water-soluble, self-adhesive, and best of all, you can compost it at home.

RV Magnetics – Slovakia

RVmagnetics MicroWire replaces several sensors and interfaces with just one. It senses low power consumption therefore it reduces the environmental footprint.

Smart Shelves can detect the addition and removal of items placed on them and give real-time information to the management. The Sensor can solve inventory management issues, especially overstocking and waste reduction.

CleverFarm – Czech Republic

CleverFarm a startup founded in the Czech Republic is a 4-year old, fast-growing, agricultural company that provides data-driven farm management.

CleverFarm’s vision is to enable farming to be automated, economically efficient, and sustainable. Thanks to the use of real information based on SITU research, machine learning, and satellite data, CleverFarm can bring effective water irrigation, threat prediction, reduce the use of fertilizers and chemicals, protect commodities and improve overall farm management.

Startups are crucial elements of fostering knowledge-intensive and sustainable growth. Looking at these examples it is clear that there is a huge potential for sustainable startups in CEE. However, the breakthrough technologies need to be successfully integrated into the market. Therefore it is crucial that governments, industry, investors and other stakeholders support innovation with the aim of accelerating transitions to a green and more sustainable future.

Overview of ESG 100 in 2020

Overview of ESG 100 in 2020

For the third year running The Governance Group has assessed the sustainability reporting of the 100 largest companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. On 8th September, The Governance Group published its annual analysis of ESG reporting – ESG 100 – rating the 100 largest companies on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Sustainability and ESG factors have long been perceived as a minor concern for investors. Many CEOs live by the assumption that a sustainability agenda conflicts with shareholder interests and that ESG consideration are immaterial to finance. It has become increasingly clear that this notion is outdated.

In this analysis, Scatec Solar was rated A, placing the company in the top category among companies excelling at ESG reporting. The analysis rates how well companies disclose relevant data. The analysis is a useful tool for corporations and investors alike to better understand the risks and opportunities related to ESG. The financial markets’ quest for ESG information has radically changed communication with investors on sustainability. For analysts to correctly evaluate a company there is a need for more information on ESG performance and the company’s governance approach for managing sustainability risks and opportunities. Therefore, TGT performed the mind depth ESG analysis and rated ESG 100 sustainability companies. 

Assessment criteria

The companies were analysed over four relevant areas. The Global Reporting Initiative – GRI, by assessing the degree to which the company reports to material topics in a systematic manner. Those do not include only impacts that have intermediate consequences from a business perspective, such as financial costs or a damaged reputation. The assessment also includes CDP rating, A to D, or F if they failed to report. Moreover, companies were also assessed as to whether their reporting complies with the recommendations of the TCFD with regard to governance, strategy, risk management and goal setting. Integration of UN Sustainable Development Goals has gained widespread international support, including from business.

Scatec Solar is an integrated independent solar power producer, delivering affordable, rapidly deployable and sustainable clean energy worldwide. While contributing to reducing emission is at the core of Scatec Solar’s business model, sustainability is also integrated into all operations and is closely monitored and reported. 

Key takeaway

This year’s analysis of the 100 largest companies on the Oslo Stock Exchange reveals that many companies lack a systematic approach to sustainability reporting. However, the trend is positive compared to last year. This is good news for investors and society at large – sustainability has become less noise and more substance.

The responsibility of identifying material sustainability risks and associated goals does not only belong to senior management. The company’s board should have access to information regarding key sustainability risks to the same extent as it does in other areas. By being transparent with regard to risk tolerance and goals related to material sustainability factors, the board will also aid investors in understanding the company. 

Read the full Stock Exchange report on The Governance Group. The analysis is a useful tool for corporations and investors alike to better understand the risks and opportunities related to ESG.


Grieg Seafood3,0-3,9
Norsk Hydro3,0-3,9
SpareBank 13,0-3,9
Yara International3,0-3,9
Aker BP2,0-2,9
Lerøy Seafood Group2,0-2,9
Nordic Semiconductor2,0-2,9
Petroleum Geo-Services2,0-2,9
Scatec Solar2,0-2,9
Wallenius Wilhelmsen2,0-2,9
AF Gruppen1,0-1,9
Aker Solutions1,0-1,9
AKVA Group1,0-1,9
BW LPG1,0-1,9
BW Offshore Limited1,0-1,9
Golden Ocean Group1,0-1,9
Höegh LNG Holdings1,0-1,9
Kongsberg Automotive1,0-1,9
Kongsberg Gruppen1,0-1,9
Norway Royal Salmon1,0-1,9
Norwegian Property1,0-1,9
NRC Group1,0-1,9
RAK Petroleum1,0-1,9
Salmones Camanchaca1,0-1,9
SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge1,0-1,9
SpareBank 1 SMN1,0-1,9
SpareBank 1 SR-Bank1,0-1,9
Subsea 71,0-1,9
Tomra Systems1,0-1,9
Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding1,0-1,9
ABG Sundal Collier0,0-0,9
American Shipping CO0,0-0,9
Arendals Fossekompani0,0-0,9
Austevoll Seafood0,0-0,9
Borr Drilling0,0-0,9
FLEX LNG0,0-0,9
Gaming Innovation Group0,0-0,9
Hexagon Composites0,0-0,9
Komplett Bank0,0-0,9
Magseis Fairfield0,0-0,9
MPC Container Ships0,0-0,9
Nordic Nanovector0,0-0,9
Northern Drilling0,0-0,9
Norwegian Air Shuttle0,0-0,9
Norwegian Energy Company0,0-0,9
Norwegian Finans Holding0,0-0,9
Ocean Yield0,0-0,9
Odfjell drilling0,0-0,9
Olav Thon Eiendomsselskap0,0-0,9
Otello Corporation0,0-0,9
Protector Forsikring0,0-0,9
Pareto Bank0,0-0,9
Selvaag Bolig0,0-0,9
Shelf Drilling0,0-0,9
Solon Eiendom0,0-0,9
SpareBank 1 BV0,0-0,9
SpareBank 1 Ringerike Hadeland0,0-0,9
SpareBank 1 Østfold Akershus0,0-0,9
Sparebanken Møre0,0-0,9
Sparebanken Vest0,0-0,9
The Scottish Salmon Company0,0-0,9

This year’s analysis of the 100 largest companies on the Oslo Stock Exchange reveals that many companies lack a systematic approach to sustainability reporting. However, the trend is positive compared to last year. This is good news for investors and society at large – sustainability has become less noise and more substance.

The most sustainable companies in Europe

The most sustainable companies in Europe

Europe is front-and-centre in the tidal shift towards more sustainable business, driven by far-reaching regulations. Nearly half the world’s most sustainable companies are in Europe. France paves the way with nine sustainable companies in the ranking, followed by Finland with six companies of 100.

European countries have typically been leaders in the fight against climate change, with many ranking lowest in carbon emissions globally and highest in environmental quality. The newest trillion-euro investment plan looks to solidify Europe as the global example for combating global warming as other continents like Asia and North America continue to produce high carbon emissions and lag in renewable energy sources.

We took top 3 companies in Europe that rank high on corporate sustainability criteria. The researchers rely on readily available data for all publicly-listed companies with at least $1 billion in gross revenue (in PPP), as of the financial year 2018.

Some of the criteria used for measurement of corporate sustainability include financial management, employee management, resource management and clean revenue.


Ørsted A/S

Denmark’s Ørsted A/S claims the top of the leaderboard in 2020. Within a decade, the company has completely transformed its business model—shifting away from the Danish Oil and Natural Gas (DONG) company into a pure-play renewable energy company.

Ørsted A/S operates through three segments: Wind Power, Bioenergy and Thermal Power, and Distribution and Customer Solutions. According to media, they have recently signed a deal described as “the world’s largest renewables corporate power purchase agreement.” Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – purchased all the energy produced by Orsted’s yet-to-be-built 920-megawatt offshore wind farm off Taiwan.

Nevertheless, Ørsted attributes its dramatic transformation to the societal demand for green energy and aims to be carbon-neutral by 2025.


Chr. Hansen Holding A/S

Chr. Hansen took second place in 2020 among the worlds most sustainable companies. Chr. Hansen’s score improved to 83.9% from 82.99%. Moreover, Ørsted A/S jumped to No. 1 in 2020 from No. 4 in 2019 as its overall score improves to 85.2% from 80.13%.

The company is developing microbial solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. Sustainability is an integral part of Chr. Hansen’s vision to improve food and health. In 2019 Chr. Hansen has ranked as the world’s most sustainable company by Corporate Knights thanks to strong sustainability efforts.

Chr. Hansen scored high marks in clean revenue, which Corporate Knights defines as the percentage of a company’s total revenue derived from products and services categorized as clean.


Neste Oyj


Neste Oyj ranked as the world’s third most sustainable company on the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable corporations.

“Our company’s purpose is to create a healthier planet for our children, particularly through tackling the climate crisis. In this work, we need everyone on board. It is great to see more and more companies placing sustainability at the core of their strategies worldwide” – says Peter Vanacker, President and CEO of Neste.

Neste has gone through a comprehensive transformation over the past decade: the former local oil company’s aim is now to become a global leader in renewable and circular solutions.

The organizations that make up this list have made significant strides toward sustainability, but there’s still much work to be done, and it’s in their best interest as businesses to do it. The big takeaway when looking at Ørsted and the other companies is how the gorwth in green and sustainable development is moving forward. In this age of climate and carbon constraints and an emerging climate economy, these companies are positioned to succeed.


ESG Investments Croatia

ESG Investments Croatia

ESG could be defined as responsible investing strategy and practice which includes 3 key factors in investment decision making: social, environmental and governance factors.

ESG is becoming more important and present in the investing world because there is a growing number of clients who take into consideration ESG factors when deciding on which fund to invest in. 

Croatia in ESG practices

ESG investing is still at its early phases in Croatia. There is undoubtedly a higher level of ESG practices in Croatia and the future of investing.  This to some extent will come as a consequence of regulators already increasingly emphasizing that responsible investing is an integral part of asset management services.

At the EU level, asset management companies will need to start announcing how they integrate ESG factors into investment decisions. Recently, Croatia’s regulator (HANFA) announced that the International Organization of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) has adopted Supervisory Guidelines on the integration of ESG factors into investment and risk management of pension funds. Moreover, according to MSCI Croatia implemented 2 regulations by Governments with ESG practice in 2019. The regulations include slean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles. It also includes commission Decisions 2009/300/EC and 2018/59 on the ecological criteria for the award of the Community Eco-label to televisions.

Croatia has an ESG Relevance Score of 5 for Political Stability and Rights as World Bank Governance Indicators have the highest weight in Fitch’s SRM and are highly relevant to the rating and a key rating driver with a high weight.

Key rating drivers

Fitch forecasts the economy will contract by 5.5% in 2020, from the growth of 2.9% in 2019, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Croatia is highly dependent on tourism and tourism-related activities. According to Eurostat, the ratio of tourism to total domestic supply stands at 9.8%, by far the highest figure in the EU (average is 3.4%).

The hit to tourism and other services will have a significant effect on employment, consumption, investment and exports. However, it macroeconomic professionals expect the economy to recover in 2021. Moreover, the economy will expand by close to 3% on the back of service sector growth and a pick-up in exports as global demand resumes.

The chart above shows that HT leads the list with an ESG score of 61.97, followed by Ad Plastik with 45.76. The early adopters to ESG practices could possibly benefit from having high ESG scores as it might attract a new pool of investors who are seeking investments in companies with implemented ESG practices. 


Croatia is leaning towards ESG practice and many companies show deep interest in ESG topic through published articles and reports. We can clearly see that there is a better understanding of the environmental, social and governance challenges. Investors are looking to invest in companies with long term ESG strategy. Existing and future regulatory changes at EU-level (EC’s Action Plan on Sustainable Finance) provide a further decisive impetus to embrace sustainability aspects.  We can advise clients in devising the ESG strategy and communicating it to various stakeholders.  ESG strategy is not a stand-alone issue but should be integrated into the overall company’s strategy, operating environment, and business model

Sustainable investing in the new normal

Sustainable investing in the new normal

Sustainable investing is becoming part of business today as businesses face environmental and social challenges. Addressing these sustainable challenges in global markets allows for financial advisors and investors who are actively seeking places to invest their money that support their sustainable values.

Refinitiv provides a rich source of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research data, covering 80% of global market cap, spanning 76 countries. However, only 35% of companies have specific reduction targets around their emissions, meaning many are setting up policies without backing up their intentions.

Sustainable investing has become more important now more than ever. In the world of new normal, investors will look for their portfolio companies to integrate ESG objectives.

Why sustainable investing is growing?


The reason behind the high interest in sustainable investing starts with climate change that was most discussed theme this year in Davos. From a corporate and market perspective, that shows more opportunities for tech companies. Some of the companies that showed interest in green investing are Starbucks and Salesforce.

According to Barron’s, announced it would plant a trillion trees over the next 10 years. Starbucks (SBUX) committed to a 50% reduction in emissions. That said, big companies are willing to speak loudly about climate risks in 2020. The fact that climate change was number on the topic at Davos, says a lot about how important this issue really is.

The climate solutions market could double from $1 trillion a year now to $2 trillion a year by 2025, says BofA’s Israel, including renewables, electric vehicles, batteries, biofuels, and circular economy plays.

Technology is changing what we demand and how we consume. Whether it’s driverless cars, smart metering in utilities, renewables in oil and gas, or online sales in retail, most sectors of the economy are seeing paradigm shifts in the way business is conducted.

Together these are the reasons why sustainable investing is rapidly growing. Therefore, sustainable investing has become more than a trend, it’s become the new normal.

In today’s environment where change and uncertainty seem to be the only constants, more and more investors are taking a long-term view and choosing to put their money into companies that generate a return and act responsibly. ESG investing is already reshaping global markets.

Key takeaways


To sum up, ESG investing is growing and it is becoming part of business today. In the recent article, we discussed the ESG legislation requirements.

Registered data on ESG investing growth showed a good path for sustainable investors and could serve as a proof point of how investors can trust ESG funds in turbulent markets.

There is no question about ESG becoming an integral part of doing business. If you are looking to integrate ESG criteria to your business strategy, we can advise you on devising the ESG strategy and communicating it to various stakeholders. 

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