The State of NRW issued again a Sustainability Bond in March 2019. The Sustainability Bonds are targeted at investors who value sustainable and responsible investment.
The concept of Sustainability Bonds is closely related to the Sustainability Strategy for North Rhine-Westphalia of 14th June 2016. Progress in the implementation of the strategy is measured using almost 70 indicators, which are assigned to the 19 fields of action of the Sustainability Strategy and the 17 SDGs. The first Sustainability Indicator Report was published in 2016. In addition, the indicators are regularly updated on a dedicated website (http://www.nachhaltigkeitsindikatoren.nrw.de).
The Sustainability Strategy for North Rhine-Westphalia serves also as the political reference for the Sustainability Bonds. Based on the fields of action of the Sustainability Strategy, a framework concept with seven project categories was developed for the Sustainability Bonds:
The Sustainability Bond #5 refers to 52 eligible projects from the State's 2018 budget. The projects were selected according to the criteria described in the framework. All projects were selected in accordance with the specifications set out in the framework. Main criterion is a clear environmental or social benefit as set out in NRW's sustainability policy. The focus is on education, research and infrastructure. For the first time in 2019, the portfolio includes a project which provides freedom of tuition for the last kindergarten year before enrollment as well as a return programme for highly qualified young researchers from abroad. The promotion of broadband expansion was expanded in comparison to Sustainability Bond #4. The framework concept and the selected projects were audited by ISS-oekom and evaluated positively.
After the concept of the fifth Sustainability Bond had been presented to institutional investors in Asia and Europe in February and early March 2019, a € 2.25 billion issue was successfully placed on 6 March, attracting strong investor interest.