ESG Press Release (08.31.21)
BLX GETS AWARDED APPROVED VERIFIER STATUS UNDER THE CLIMATE BONDS STANDARD – DRIVING BEST PRACTICE FOR THE U.S. MUNI BOND MARKET
LOS ANGELES / LONDON/: 31/08/2021 10:00 GMT+1: The Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) is pleased to announce its partnership with the BLX Group LLC (BLX), a subsidiary of global law firm Orrick, and a Registered Observer of the International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA) Green and Social Bond Principles. The partnership is a mutual effort to bring leading international bond designation standards to the U.S. municipal bond market and provide educational resources to issuers and borrowers seeking ESG financing solutions.
“Our partnership with CBI stems from an alignment of perspectives and a desire to bring international and regulations-driven best practices to our clients, including post-issuance reporting,” said Craig Underwood, President of BLX.
The companies share a commitment to filling an educational gap in the U.S. as leading bond designation standards emerge from foreign organizations, leaving borrowers grappling for knowledge.
Sean Kidney, CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative:
“The sustainable municipal bond market is thriving in the U.S., comprising a significant portion of the nation’s overall sustainable debt volume. Our partnership with BLX represents joint efforts to ensure sustainable finance markets are succeeding with the utmost integrity towards climate wellbeing.”
For over 30 years, BLX has developed streamlined processes and software applications to deliver various regulatory compliance solutions. As the sustainable finance market continues to shift towards greater accountability, BLX leverages a history of post-issuance compliance monitoring and continuing disclosure expertise to deliver an ESG program geared towards helping issuers and borrowers meet investors’ disclosure expectations with “surveillance” services seamlessly layered onto its Second Party Opinions.
Having completed over 80,000 post-issuance monitoring projects for more than 2,500 clients seeking to comply with various SEC and U.S. Treasury requirements, BLX is establishing new standards in a self-regulated ESG market, including a commitment to follow through on projects labelled “green” or “social”. Indeed, the firm brings a unique perspective to the foundational ICMA pillars used in the bond designation process, including Use of Proceeds, Process for Project Evaluation and Selection, Management of Proceeds, and Reporting. BLX’s Surveillance URLs track use of proceeds and certain key performance indicators throughout the life of a project as a safeguard against greenwashing for investors. Post-issuance annual reporting is a standard CBI also enforces in its verification process.
BLX’s ESG services include program design consultation, second party opinions, management of proceeds surveillance, impact reporting, and voluntary disclosure.
About the Climate Bonds Initiative: The Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused not-for-profit, promoting large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy.
About the Climate Bonds Standard: The Standard is an overarching science-based multi-sector standard that allows investors and intermediaries to easily assess the climate credentials and environmental integrity of bonds claiming to be green and funding the low carbon future.
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