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Greenwashing

Greenwashing is the act of distributing false information about something being more environmentally friendly than it actually is.

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Tackling the Cost of Living Crisis

In this video, Max discusses the cost-of-living crisis currently enveloping the UK. He examines its impact on households as well as the overall economy.

CSR and Sustainability in Financial Services

In the first video of this two-part video series, Elisa introduces us to sustainability. She begins by looking at the difference between sustainability and corporate social responsibility, two terms that can be easily confused.

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Banking Essentials - Part I

This pathway will walk us through the basics of banks, starting with some of the different types and their main functions, then starting to look at the regulation faced by the banks, both before and after the Global Financial Crisis.

Greenwashing

Greenwashing is the act of distributing false information about something being more environmentally friendly than it actually is.

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Plans & Membership

Our Platform

Expert led content

+1,000 expert presented, on-demand video modules

Learning analytics

Keep track of learning progress with our comprehensive data

Interactive learning

Engage with our video hotspots and knowledge check-ins

Testing & certification

Gain CPD / CPE credits and professional certification

Managed learning

Build, scale and manage your organisation’s learning

Integrations

Connect Finance Unlocked to your current platform

Featured Content

More featured content

Tackling the Cost of Living Crisis

In this video, Max discusses the cost-of-living crisis currently enveloping the UK. He examines its impact on households as well as the overall economy.

CSR and Sustainability in Financial Services

In the first video of this two-part video series, Elisa introduces us to sustainability. She begins by looking at the difference between sustainability and corporate social responsibility, two terms that can be easily confused.

More featured content

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Second-Party ESG Debt Opinions

Second-Party ESG Debt Opinions

Keith Mullin

35 years: Capital markets editorial

The rise of labelled  ESG debt issuance and investing in recent years has, unsurprisingly, been accompanied by a rapid increase in the number of industry providers offering products and services throughout the market’s value chain. The main purpose of this video by Keith is to provide a detailed explanation on "SPOs" - Second-Party Opinions.

The rise of labelled  ESG debt issuance and investing in recent years has, unsurprisingly, been accompanied by a rapid increase in the number of industry providers offering products and services throughout the market’s value chain. The main purpose of this video by Keith is to provide a detailed explanation on "SPOs" - Second-Party Opinions.

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Second-Party ESG Debt Opinions

8 mins 30 secs

Key learning objectives:

  • Define Secondary Party Opinion

  • Understand who provides a Secondary Party Opinion

  • Outline the benefits of SPO

  • Identify the fundamental ethical and professional principles that external reviewers should meet

Overview:

Unsurprisingly, the rise in labelled ESG debt issuance and investment in recent years has been followed by a rapid increase in the number of industry suppliers providing goods and services around the market's value chain. One of these is Second-Party Opinions or SPOs.

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Summary

What is a Secondary Party Opinion?

SPOs are appraisals of issuers’ ESG frameworks published by independent agencies. They assess whether the frameworks meet the minimum standards of the Green and Social Bond Principles or the Climate Bonds Initiative and, by extension, will meet market expectations.

Who provides a Secondary Party Opinion?

Almost 50 organizations are included in the Climate Bonds Initiative's directory of accredited verifiers for its certification scheme. Verifications and SPOs are a growing industry.

The leading providers of SPOs for international ESG bonds are companies like CICERO, DNV GL, ISS-ESG, Sustainalytics and Vigeo Eiris; and for US municipal green bonds; BAM Greenstar.

Issuers ESG Frameworks

  • Explains the selection and evaluation criteria for the projects to be financed by the bonds.
  • Defines the corporate-level ESG strategy and values.
  • Describes the expected social or environmental impacts of the bonds.
  • What investors can expect in terms of the use-of-proceeds and impact reporting over the life of the bond.

What are the benefits of SPO?

SPOs add:

  • Comfort
  • Credibility
  • Transparency to a market that after so many years still lacks a credible definition of what green actually means.

What are the fundamental ethical and professional principles that external reviewers should meet?

To drive standardisation, the Green and Social Bond Principles have issued voluntary guidance for SPO providers. Their Guidelines for Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds External reviews seek to encourage best practice and provide consensus on professional practices and ethical standards as well as content and organisation of external reviews. External reviewers should meet five fundamental ethical and professional principles:

  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Professional Competence and Due Care
  • Confidentiality, 
  • And professional Behaviour

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Keith Mullin

Keith Mullin

Keith is the founder and director of KM Capital Markets, a media and thought-leadership consultancy. He spent the past 35 years working in specialist capital markets media and has had a ring-side seat at all of the major market events. Prior to setting up KM Capital Markets in 2017, Keith worked at Thomson Reuters.

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