The European Investment Bank has issued a €500m Sustainability Awareness Bond to finance projects supporting the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.
The Sustainability Awareness Bond is the first European Investment Bank (EIB) funding that is intended to directly support sustainable finance, and aims to advance the EIB’s ambition to become one of the leading financiers of sustainability projects in the world and provide the funds needed to support global progress in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sustainability Awareness Bonds will complement the EIB’s existing green bonds, known as Climate Awareness Bonds, which already support renewable energy and efficiency projects around the world. The UN estimates that $6tn of new annual investment will be needed to meet the SDGs, and the launch of the EIB’s new green bonds will strengthen investor confidence and deliver the funding that is needed.
How will the proceeds of the Sustainability Awareness Bond be prioritised?
The European Investment Bank’s priorities include the funding of sustainable water projects, of which the bank is one of the largest financiers in the world. This will include support for the EU’s own sustainability objectives in this sector, including:
- Pollution prevention and control
- Protection for healthy ecosystems
- Sustainable use of water and marine resources
- Transition to a circular marine economy
- Waste prevention and recycling
In order to maximise the impact that funding can make in these sectors, the proceeds will concentrate on high-impact and transformational investments, and the EIB will enable detailed reporting and transparency in its investments.
What has the EIB said about the new investments?
According to Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank, the newly announced Sustainability Awareness Bonds demonstrate the bank’s commitment to sustainable investment around the world. He said: “Sustainability Awareness Bonds build on the global success of green bonds, ensuring the confidence of socially responsible investors through rigorous transparency and market standards.”
He added that, while the initial investments will support the water sector, there is significant potential for the scope to expand: “We have selected the water sector as a starting point, as it is a mature sector, with well-defined impact indicators. We look forward to expanding the scope of the Sustainability Awareness Bonds in the coming months to cover health and education, which are key sectors where we can improve people’s daily life around the world.”