The first green bonds — or climate awareness bonds, as they were called — were issued 15 years ago by the European Investment Bank. Since then, the market has gone from niche to mainstream with plenty of options on offer: green bonds, sustainability bonds, and social bonds, just to name a few.
The accumulative value of such bonds exceeds three trillion US dollars globally. China is the world’s leading issuer and Hungary leads in the emerging Europe region.
Just recently, KPMG Hungary became ‘Approved Verifier’ status within the framework of the Climate Bonds Initiative, Climate Bonds Standards and Certification Scheme, which means the ESG team of KPMG in Budapest is authorised, as a third-party verifier, to certify that issuers and their bonds comply with Climate Bonds Standard criteria in the entire CEE region.
István Szabó, director at KPMG Budapest, who has been leading the sustainability practice in Central and Eastern Europe for one and a half years now, speaks with Andrew Wrobel about the standards bond issuers need to meet, about available sources of financing ESG (environmental, social governance) and about placing sustainability at the core of an organisation’s strategy.
They also talk about the mistakes that companies make when preparing to issue climate bonds and about examples of greenwashing — ecological arguments in order to forge an ecologically responsible image among the public.
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