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Sustainable Financing Opinions

Powering a More Sustainable Tomorrow

Learn more about S&P Global Ratings Sustainable Financing Opinions

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Sustainable Financing Opinions

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement created an impetus to finance a wide range of initiatives to limit global warming. Coupled with COVID-19 impact, this has resulted in unprecedented disruptions that have accelerated the sustainable finance capital markets development as investors prioritize sustainable business models that can withstand market shocks. Total issuance of sustainable debt has surpassed $1 trillion and is on a firm upward trajectory, propelled by green and social issuance and the rise of sustainability-linked instruments.

S&P Global Ratings provides a variety of Sustainable Financing Opinions to help companies provide investors with greater insight into how their investments will impact and align with environmental, social and sustainability goals. Our options include Second Party Opinions (SPOs) and Transaction Evaluations.


  • Second Party Opinions
  • What do Second Party Opinions on use-of-proceeds financings include?
  • What do Second Party Opinions on sustainability-linked financings include?
  • Benefits of a Second Party Opinion for Companies

Second Party Opinions
Second Party Opinion - 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:

ICMA’s Green, Social Bond Principles or Sustainability Bond Guidelines, ASEAN Green Bond Standards, and LMA/APLMA/LSTA’s Green or Social Loan Principles.



Second Party Opinion - Sustainability-Linked Financing

Assesses a sustainable finance framework or transaction - where the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes but incorporate measurable, forward-looking key performance indicators which are linked to sustainability objectives targets into the financial and/or structural characteristics of the instrument - for alignment with:

ICMA’s Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles, LMA’s Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles.

What do Second Party Opinions on use-of-proceeds financings include?

Statement of Alignment

Issuer Sustainability Objectives

Principles opinion on:

        • Use of Proceeds
        • Process for Project Evaluation & Selection
        • Management of Proceeds
        • Reporting

Mapping to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

For all analytical components we can determine whether they are aligned, or not aligned, with the relevant Principles. In addition, when the Principles make further recommendations for best practices on disclosures and commitments in documentation, or there is an emerging best practice, we can provide an additional opinion on an entity's commitment as satisfactory, strong, or advanced.

What do Second Party Opinions on sustainability-linked financings include?

Statement of Alignment

Issuer Sustainability Objectives

Principles opinion on:

        • Selection of Key Performance Indicator(s)
        • Calibration of Sustainability Performance Target(s)
        • Instrument Characteristics
        • Reporting
        • Post Issuance Review

Mapping to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

For all analytical components we can determine whether they are aligned, or not aligned, with the relevant Principles. In addition, when the Principles make further recommendations for best practices on disclosures and commitments in documentation, or there is an emerging best practice, we can provide an additional opinion on an entity's commitment as satisfactory, strong, or advanced.

Benefits of a Second Party Opinion for Companies




"At S&P Global, we can't change the world overnight. But we can take action to affect change."

Doug Peterson, President & CEO, S&P Global


  • Transaction Evaluations
  • Benefits of a Transaction Evaluation for Companies
  • Key Components of Transaction Evaluations

Transaction Evaluations

A Transaction Evaluation provides a point in time score on the relative environmental benefit generated by a green/resilience financing and an opinion on governance and reporting. Green Transaction Evaluation is often combined with an Alignment Opinion with:

ICMA's Green Bond Principles, ASEAN Green Bond Standards, and LMA/APLMA/LSTA's Green Loan Principles.



“The Green Evaluation process was very transparent and characterized by mutual understanding of the relevant topics. We had full confidence in S&P’s ability to assess the green assets which formed part of the transaction. The Green Evaluation helped us to successfully place the bond with a wide variety of investors, especially those who are particularly looking for sustainable investments."

Markus Stachel, Group Head Investor Relations, DZ BANK

Benefits of a Transaction Evaluation for Companies

Key Components of Transaction Evaluations



  • Why S&P Global Ratings?
  • Analytical Approach & FAQs

Why S&P Global Ratings?




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