Centre for Sustainable Finance joins the Green and Social Bond Principles

Earlier this year, Vlerick’s Centre for Sustainable Finance joined the exclusive network of institutions that promote frameworks for sustainable bonds. The network is hosted by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA).

Founded in 1968, ICMA’s mission is to promote resilient, well-functioning debt securities, a global market of more than $26 trillion outstanding. ICMA encourages the information flow between different types of market participants (borrowers, investors, intermediaries and service providers). Also, the association builds trust by promoting internationally accepted standards of best practice, according to Jan De Bondt, Executive in Residence at Vlerick Business School and member of the steering committee of the Centre for Sustainable Finance.

Jan De Bondt: “The Green Bond Principles (GBP), the Social Bond Principles (SBP), the Sustainability Bond Guidelines (SBG) and the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles (SLBP) – referred to as the ‘Principles’ – have become the leading framework globally for the issuance of sustainable bonds. The Principles are backed by a global market initiative bringing together all market participants and stakeholders from the private and official sectors. In addition, the Climate Transition Finance Handbook acts as guidance for issuers seeking to utilise green bonds, sustainability bonds or sustainability-linked bonds towards the achievement of their climate transition strategy.”

“In this network, academic institutions have the status of observers, participating in the updates of the Principles and joining working groups and advisory bodies,” says Professor David Veredas, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Finance. “Currently, there are 11 academic observers, out of about 400 members. Vlerick Business School is the first academic institution in the Benelux to become a member of the ICMA, joining a select group that includes Yale University, HEC Paris, University of Cambridge, and Oxford University.”
“The two partners of the Centre, ABN AMRO and CANDRIAM, are members of the Principles as well. Together with them and AG Insurance, we advance knowledge and understanding of sustainability to better equip the financial services industry in its decision-making,” David Veredas concludes.

Increasingly, sustainability is becoming an integral part of the strategies of organisations. Thanks to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ESG reporting, responsible leadership is transforming countries into fairer and more prosperous societies. This transformation requires financial resources, mostly from the private sector. The Vlerick Centre for Sustainable Finance aims to advance knowledge and understanding of sustainability to better equip the financial service industry in its decision making. Interested in becoming a member? Find out more about the Centre for Sustainable Finance.

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