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Second Party Opinions

S&P Global has acquired the Shades of Green business from CICERO. Explore how we can help you navigate access to the public and private sustainable debt markets with solutions that deliver the rigor and transparency investors and lenders demand.

Second Party Opinions

Second Party Opinions (SPOs), provided by S&P Global Ratings, help companies provide investors with greater insight into how their investments will impact and align with environmental, social and sustainability goals.

In December 2022, S&P Global acquired the Shades of Green business from CICERO, further expanding the breadth and depth of our SPO offering. We are currently working to combine the best of both companies’ methodologies to deliver a suite of SPOs that deliver robust analysis, transparency, and continues to be the reference for high quality in the market.*

Shades of Green have been championing SPOs in the global green financing market since 2008 after publishing the very first SPO on the World Bank’s Green bond framework and remain the largest external reviewer by volume globally. At the heart of all their SPOs is the multi-award-winning Shades of Green methodology, which assigns shadings to investments and activities to reflect the extent to which they contribute to the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient future.

Second Party Opinion options include:

  • Second Party Opinion (SPO) - Use of Proceeds Financing: Assesses a sustainable finance framework or transaction – where the proceeds will be used exclusively to finance or refinance environmental or social projects – for alignment with third-party principles, standards, and taxonomies. We offer three types of Use of Proceeds SPOs: green, social, and sustainability SPOs.
  • Second Party Opinion (SPO) - Sustainability Linked Financing: Assesses a sustainable finance framework or transaction – where the proceeds will be used for public finance purposes – for alignment with third-party principles and guidelines.

*As of March 2023.

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Use Cases

With a Second Party Opinion, companies can:


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Public Reports

Browse the library of Second Party Opinions published by S&P Global Ratings and Shades of Green, formerly part of CICERO, across bonds, loans, private placement and project financings.


Discover essential intelligence

  • Footprinting

    Pinpoint and measure important sustainability performance indicators across company operations, supply chain tiers and product life cycles.

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  • Indices

    Our solutions range from core ESG and low-carbon climate approaches to thematic and fixed income strategies.

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  • SDG Evaluation

    Build a complete picture of sustainability risks and opportunities through the universal framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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Need essential sustainability intelligence?

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Why S&P Global?

Accelerate Your Sustainability Journey

Gain unparalleled insight into critical topics like ESG performance, net zero, energy transition, sustainable financing, regulatory compliance and more.

Discover End-to-End Market Perspectives

Leverage intelligence that is tried-and-tested throughout the global value chain, applying deep knowledge of corporate sustainability assessments that scales analytics for asset owners, investment managers and banks.

Connect Your Workflows

Link sustainability data with financial data and market intelligence, and dig deep with screening tools, real time updates, data visualizations and customized dashboards.

Increase Your Productivity

Access data when and how you want it with flexible delivery options that include a leading desktop solution, APIs, data feeds and cloud access, underpinned by robust data linking, AI and machine-learning technologies.

Rely on a Deep Heritage of Innovation

Put 20+ years of experience behind your sustainability strategy, getting ahead of disclosure trends with active corporate engagement and granular data modelling, and delivering enhanced solutions recognized by numerous industry awards.

Enjoy Superior Customer Service

Know you have 24x7x365 backup and specialist assistance from ESG specialists and research analysts across our global offices.