Social bonds grow but remain in shadow of green

Author: Jimmie Franklin | Published: 5 Dec 2019

While green bond issuances topped $200 billion in 2019, social bonds are yet to experience the same momentum.

According to Dealogic data, issuances in Europe in 2019 have come in at €8.7 billion ($9.6 billion), an increase on 2018’s €6 billion ($6.6 billion). Nearly €5 billion of this comes from banks, which is more than double 2018 volumes. Others have included French manufacturing company, Danone, who issued a €300 million ($368.5 million) bond in April.

"The market focus is on green bonds," said Lars Mac Key, head of sustainable bonds at Danske Bank. "Social bonds have seen an uptick, but from smaller numbers. The social bond principles are not as well-known nor as well-used as green bonds."

Social bonds are the one of the newer kids on the sustainability block. They’ve been championed by organisations such as the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), whose various...