Green Bonds: How do they work and are they right for your project?

What are Green Bonds?

Green bonds raise funds for new and existing projects which deliver environmental benefits, and a more sustainable economy. ‘Green’ can include renewable energy, sustainable resource use, conservation, clean transportation and adaptation to climate change.

Why invest in Green Bonds

There has been an ever increasing call from investors for greater transparency, disclosure and standardisation of Green Bonds, to ensure bond proceeds are correctly used and requirements of end investors are met. But at the same time, there is a concern that too onerous a level of requirements will deter investors. A balanced approach is required.

To achieve this balance, PwC has been developing some guidance that aligns with the Green Bond Principles and the Climate Bonds Initiative's standards with a view to encouraging a standardised approach. We will be sharing our views on where we think transparency and reporting could be improved, and would like to hear from you what information and assurance will enable you to invest with confidence, and whether such guidance could benefit the market, either as a stand-along document or to be merged into the Green Bond Principles and CBI standards respectively.

The journey to issuing a Green Bond


  • Review issuer’s sustainability strategy and the business case for Green Bonds issuance
  • Develop internal project selection criteria and process, and identify eligible projects
  • Conduct environmental and social due diligence
  • Develop measurement and reporting framework and key performance indicators to demonstrate green impact
  • Optimise reporting process to ensure it dovetails with existing and future external ESG reporting requirements
  • Assess adequacy of governance and internal management systems for tracking and allocation

How we can help?

Determine the approach

Our Sustainability Advisory team can provide expert input to the creation and development of your Green Bond, ensuring that it fits with your overall sustainability strategy, help you define the objectives for the bond strategy, and ensure it meets the expectations of key stakeholders.

Assess the impact

Our experienced Environmental Due Diligence team can help you develop an appropriate framework to ensure the underlying projects meet Green Bond standards and enable you to assess and report the impacts of your green projects post-investment.

Contact Domenico del Re to talk about this stage of the journey.


  • Develop an Information Memorandum containing the information required by investors and other stakeholders
  • Roadshow to promote the bond issue
  • Liaise with Credit Rating Agencies and advise on achieving an Investment Grade credit rating
  • Structure the bond to launch to the capital markets

How we can help

Connect you to the right investors

We know the investors interested in investing in ‘green’, including pension funds, retail investment managers and insurance companies.

We can help you develop a compelling narrative for this audience, who have money earmarked for environmental aims, but are waiting for the right issues.

Support you in navigating credit rating agencies’ requirements

Our ratings Advisory Experts, together with our Sustainability Advisory team, can ensure that the green projects you select do not jeopardise your overall financial objectives.

Contact Sarah Strang to talk about this stage of the journey.


  • Verify the eligibility of projects against relevant standards and criteria
  • Provide assurance over the governance and internal management processes and controls for tracking and allocation
  • Provide periodic assurance over the statement of proceeds
  • Assure green impact key performance indicators

How we can help


Our Sustainability Assurance team has deep expertise in providing assurance over systems, process and controls, and key performance metrics.

We can provide you with ad hoc or recurring assurance that will provide comfort to you, your stakeholders and the market over the legitimacy and success of your Green Bond issuance.

Contact Atul Patel to talk about this stage of the journey.

Case studies

CBI Working Group

Working with the Climate Bonds Initiative (“CBI”) Working Group, helping to bring together verifiers active in the green bonds market with the aim of developing an appropriate reporting and assurance standard to drive consistency in the market. We hosted the first meeting in London in April 2015.

UK Commercial Bank ESG Bond

Provided assurance over the statement of allocation of the bank’s first Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) Bond, providing investors with comfort that their funds have been allocated to eligible projects. Assurance will be provided on a quarterly basis for the lifetime of the bond.

Contact us

Domenico del Re

Domenico del Re

Director, Sustainability, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7483 906282

Sarah Strang

Sarah Strang

Director, Debt & Capital Advisory, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7808 105576

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