What are green bonds and what are they for?

#environmental sustainability #business #investment

Green bonds are a type of debt issued by public or private institutions. Unlike other credit instruments, the funds obtained are specifically destined for the funding or refunding of green projects, i.e. projects that are sustainable and socially responsible in areas as diverse as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation or responsible waste management.

Main uses of the funds from a green bond.#RRSSMain uses of the funds from a green bond.

On 5 July 2007, the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched a very special issue for the first time: green bonds. But what are green bonds and why they are so relevant? They can be distinguished by their goal: to fund projects that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goalsnumber 7 (affordable and non-contaminating energy) and number 13 (Climate action) —.

Iberdrola has its own issue brand, inspired by the criteria established by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA): the Green Bond Principles [PDF]. The core ideas are:

  • The funds will be used for green projects with clear sustainability benefits.
  • The issuer of a green bond must transparently notify the investors of the environmental sustainability goals, allowing for them to be assessed and externally reviewed.
  • The funds management will be appropriately and transparently controlled by the issuer, which will allow an auditor to perform a complementary review.
  • The issuer of green bonds will periodically update the information about how the funds are used and the sustainability benefits obtained.


Iberdrola has issued a total of 11 green bonds, making the company an international benchmark in this type of funding. We have over 8 billion euros of green financing issued via capital markets since April 2014, when we became the first Spanish company to pin down a placement of green bonds.

In fact, in 2016 we agreed with BBVA over the world's first green loan implemented for a utility. The latest issue of green bonds was in December 2018, with a sustainable investment of 44 million euros. With this, we successfully completed a total of eight senior public issues.

In addition, in November 2017, through its subsidiary Avangrid, Iberdrola implemented a public green bond issue in the American market for 600 million US dollars at interest of 3.15%.

In April 2018, Iberdrola México, a 100% subsidiary of Iberdrola, agreed a green bank loan with a number of international financial institutions for 400 million US dollars, which was used to refinance renewable assets of the company in this country.

The funds obtained through these operations have been devoted to financing or refinancing investments in projects which fulfilled environmental and sustainable development criteria, validated both by Iberdrola and, subsequently, by VigeoEris (an independent entity). These projects are basically framed within the field of renewable energies.

Installation of Andalusia II substation in East Anglia ONE.#RRSSInstallation of Andalusia II substation in East Anglia ONE.

Iberdrola has benefited from VigeoEiris as an independent expert when validating the green nature of its funding instruments. VigeoEiris issues its assessment on the issuer, not only with regard to management of the chosen projects, but also to the general environmental and sustainable development commitments which it exercises in the normal running of its activities.

 Information about Iberdrola's green bonds