Big Issue launches climate solutions fund as CaixaBank issues €1bn SDG green bond

The Big Issue Group (TBIG) has partnered with Aberdeen Standard Investments to create a new climate solutions investment fund, while Spanish retail bank CaixaBank has issued a €1bn green bond in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Big Issue launches climate solutions fund as CaixaBank issues €1bn SDG green bond

TBIG, in partnership with Aberdeen Standard Investments, has launched a Multi-Asset Climate Solutions (MACS) Fund that will invest in companies that generate at least 50% of their revenue from climate solutions and initiatives that address environmental challenges. According to the Group, less than 5% of the world’s companies are eligible currently.

Additionally, the fund won’t invest in any companies deemed to harm the planet or people. As such, fossil fuels, tobacco, weapons and companies linked to child labour and carbon-intensive businesses will be excluded.

A new Climate Advisory Group has been set up to steer the fund and one-fifth of net revenue will be reinvested back into The Big Issue.

The Big Issue’s chair, Nigel Kershaw OBE, said: “Crucially, this fund is about what we can do to address climate change, rather than just what we shouldn’t be doing. Like The Big Issue, it’s all about solutions, not just exclusions.’ It’s a chance for anyone to invest not only for the prospect of financial return, but an environmental and social one too.

“The Big Issue’s mission is to build a world that works for everyone, for now and for future generations. The MACS Fund is a natural extension of this mission, given that the negative effects of climate change are likely to be felt by the poorest and most vulnerable people in our communities first and hardest.”

In related news, CaixaBank has issued its second green bond of 2021, a €1bn framework to support initiatives that are aligned to SDG 7, clean and affordable energy and SDG 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

The €1bn bond has a term of more than 10 years and is the second issued under its green, social and sustainable bonds framework that was set up in August 2019.

The €1bn bond is the fifth that has been carried out by the bank in alignment with the SDGs and follows an eight-year green bond in February 2021, a six-year green bond in November 2020 and two social bonds in September 2019 and July 2020. The July bond was issued at €1bn over six years to curb the effects of Covid-19 by funding SMEs and micro-enterprises located in regions of Spain.

As of December 2020, CaixaBank claims that €3.6bn has supported renewable energy projects and more than €600m has been allocated to real estate assets with energy efficiency rating (EPC) A or B.

According to the bank, the renewable projects it has financed will avoid the release of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for a total of 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year. An additional 6,500 tonnes of CO2 will also be avoided through its energy-efficient properties support.

CaixaBank’s total social and green bonds are measured at a combined value of €5bn.

Bond growth

It comes in the same week that Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler priced its second major green bond at €1.02bn, with funds set to be spent on delivering its climate and electric vehicle (EV) targets.

According to analysis from the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), global green bond issuance in 2020 reached a record high of $269.5bn.

Many economics experts had expected a slight downturn in issuance amid the backdrop of the recession caused by the pandemic. In the first half of the year, bonds with social sustainability requirements were faring better than “green” bonds, which typically focus purely on environmental sustainability.

Following this positive result, the CBI is forecasting that issuance could reach up to $450bn this year.

edie’s SDG Spotlight Reports

edie has published in-depth guides to how businesses can help achieve certain SDGs.

edie’s SDG Spotlight report, produced in association with Bryt Energy, looks at how businesses and national policies can transform operations, services, supply chains and strategies to help deliver Goal 7: Clean and Affordable Energy. Download the report here.

edie has also published a similar report on Goal 9, produced in association with UK Power Networks Services, and looks at how businesses can transform operations, services, supply chains and strategies to help deliver on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Download the report here.

Matt Mace

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