Media Release: Report-Green Bond Markets in the Nordics 2018: Launched by Climate Bonds at Handelsbanken Green Bonds and Sustainable Capital Markets Conference in Stockholm today

The Green Bond Market in the Nordics-Green bond issuance at record high,

Handelsbanken hosts new report launch at annual Green Bonds and Sustainable Capital Markets Conference

London/Stockholm: 15th February 2018: 12:00 GMT 13:00 CET: The Climate Bonds Initiative has just released its first full report examining green finance developments in the Nordic nations.

The Green Bond Market in the Nordics as launched in Stockholm today at Handelsbanken’s 4th annual Green Bonds and Sustainable Capital Markets conference, co-hosted by Nasdaq Stockholm.


Commissioned by Handelsbanken the report is the first comprehensive overview of all Nordic green bonds issued in each nation since market inception with analysis by issuer type and financial sector.

The Green Bond Market in the Nordics also identifies an overview of future market directions and identifies industry sectors conducive to future green bond issuance.


Report Highlights:



·         Despite their relatively small size, Nordic nations rank highly in global cumulative green bond with Sweden at 6th, Norway 16th, Denmark 17th and Finland 20th.

·         The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) is the region’s largest issuer to date.

·         Nordic nations including supranational NIB, account for 6.7% of global cumulative green bond issue volume and 18.5% of European issuance.



·         2017 global rankings also reflected high levels of issuance with Sweden at 6th, Denmark 16th, Finland 19th and Norway 23rd.

·         Annual issuance broke a new record in 2017 at EUR7.8bn, 64% up from 2016 and 10.5 times higher than the 2013 total.

·         Fifteen new green bond issuers entered the market in 2017.

·         Corporate issuance was boosted by large deals from Danish energy company Orsted and three commercial banks – Nordea, SEB and Swedbank.

·         Swedish property company Atrium Ljungberg, a newcomer to the market became a repeat issuer during the year.



Use of proceeds & sectors keep evolving


Use of proceeds have become more diversified over time. In 2017 Renewable Energy (31%), Low Carbon Buildings (31%) and Low Carbon Transport (13%) dominated, with Water and Waste Water (7%), Waste Management (8%) Land Use (7%) and Adaption (3%) at the smaller end of the scale.


Local government, local government funding agencies, government-backed entities, state banks and supranational NIB account for two thirds of overall Nordic green bond issuance.


The private sector covers the remaining one third. There is a clear opportunity for private entities, especially financial institutions, to take up a bigger role in green bond issuance.


Opportunities for accelerating market development


Several sector opportunities for increased green bond issuance have been identified including:

·         Public sector issuers could tap the green bond market for projects such as upgrades, network and capacity improvements for public transport. Rail is easily aligned with a low-carbon transition;

·         Financial institutions could step up their efforts to finance loan pools linked to a wide range of climate-aligned sectors, as well as more targeted deals such as covered bonds and energy efficiency mortgages;

·         Investments in Low Carbon Buildings are expected to keep growing, as current private sector issuers keep returning to market. Housing, specialised real estate and public infrastructure companies are also expected to add scale.

·         Opportunities exist in sustainable forestry with FSC related assets suitable for green issuance. Within the Water and Waste Water sectors there are existing bond issuers who could follow vanilla issuance with green bonds.



Tobias Lindbergh, Head of Sustainable Finance at Handelsbanken DCM


“There is significant activity and development in the Nordics. Handelsbanken is proud to have contributed in this market for many years, assisting numerous clients on the development of green bond frameworks and further advancing standards in this growing asset class.”


“Nordic issuers and investors are very focused on ESG and green investments and we foresee continued strong growth in the foreseeable future. The time had come for an independent study to be done on the Nordic market and it was important to us that we contribute to such a project.”


“This report provides a basis for further discussion amongst issuers, investors, public entities and policy makers on green finance and sustainable investment.  We are pleased to have been able to support the Climate Bonds Initiative in its production.”


Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds Initiative:

“Nordic countries have been at the forefront of green bond market development in Europe and worldwide, maintaining a presence in the Top 20 of issuing nations is a significant achievement.”


“Continued policy measures to promote environmental sustainability and low carbon development with support from institutional investors and stock exchanges can help maintain the momentum. In combination with existing public sector green investment directions, more aggregation structures and sovereign issuance, a new phase of accelerated green finance could emerge between now and 2020.”