The State of North Rhine-Westphalia issued its seventh Sustainability Bond on October 5, 2020. The bond has a size of 2.4 billion € and a tenor of 15 years and serves to finance social and environmental projects of the State. Projects belong to areas such as health, education, research, infrastructure and environmental protection. With this bond, the State particularly reaches out to investors who seek sustainable and responsible investments.
The concept of the Sustainability Bonds is closely related to the Sustainability Strategy for North Rhine-Westphalia of 14 June 2016. Progress in the implementation of the strategy is being measured using indicators which are assigned to the 17 SDGs. The first Sustainability Indicator Report was published in 2016. In addition, the indicators are regularly being updated, with results published on a dedicated website.
The Sustainability Strategy for North Rhine-Westphalia also serves as the political reference for the Sustainability Bonds. Based on the targets of the Sustainability Strategy, a framework with seven project categories has been developed for the Sustainability Bonds:
Sustainability Bond #7 refers to more than 80 eligible projects from the State's 2020 budget. The selection of projects is based on the criteria described in the framework. The main aspect is a clear social or environmental benefit in the context of NRW's sustainability policy. For the first time, projects to improve health infrastructure are part of the eligible assets. Most of these projects are designed to mitigate the effects of the corona pandemic. In that context, environmental projects as part of the programme to cope with the consequences of the corona pandemic and to strengthen the future viability of the State are included in the asset pool. A special focus is on projects related to education, research, childcare and infrastructure. As with the previous Sustainability Bonds, ISS ESG has reviewed the framework and the selected projects and has evaluated them positively.