Stockholm-based Swedbank reported today that its Green Asset Register has grew to nearly SEK 14 billion (US$1.5 billion) in 2019, driven by growing issuance of green bonds. The figures were released as part of the bank’s Green Bond Impact Report 2019, which also revealed that the register enabled avoidance of emissions totalling 434,678 tonnes of CO2e, derived from 266 wind power plants and 34 green buildings.
Green bonds are securities issued specifically for financing environmental and climate-related projects. The bonds may be issued by government-sanctioned organizations, and typically enjoy tax incentives. Green bond issuance exceeded $250 billion in 2019, increasing more than 45% year-over-year.
Swedbank established its Green Bond Framework in 2017 to enable and support sustainable investment including financing sustainable real estate and renewable energy. Swedbank’s issuance of green bonds is part of the bank’s efforts to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically targeting SDG7 Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure, SDG11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG13 Climate Action and SDG15 Life on land.
Commenting on the bank’s growing green bond business, Kerstin Ahlqvist, Head of Long-term funding at Swedbank, said:
“Issuing Green Bonds creates opportunities for us and our customers to contribute towards a more sustainable society. Through these bonds we can connect our customers´ needs for green loans with the increasing demand for green investments. Each one of us is an important link in the chain of putting green money to work.”
Fredrik Nilzén, Head of Group Sustainability at Swedbank, added, “Our role in running a sustainable bank is to create positive impact through our business and to promote sustainable finance by inspiring people and businesses to make smart sustainable choices.”