Sustainability Bond Guidelines

Sustainability Bond Guidelines


International Capital Market Association (ICMA)

Type(s) of Tool

GuidelinesOperationalize sustainability principles, less specific than Benchmarks or Rating Systems.


Tools applicable to all sectors

Lifecycle Phase(s)

FinanceDevelopers decide how to pay for their project.

Open Source


Language Availability

Bahasa Indonesian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Hausa, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish

Country of Origin


Date of Development





The Sustainability Bond Guidelines promote the integrity of the Sustainability Bond market through recommendations for transparency, disclosure, and reporting, outlining a clear process and disclosure for issuers, which investors, banks, underwriters, placement agents and others may use to understand the characteristics of any given Sustainability Bond. The evaluation of the use of proceeds represents the core of the Sustainability Bond Guidelines. They must exclusively apply to finance or re-finance a combination of both green and social projects. The Sustainability Bond Guidelines are based on a combination of the Green Bond Guidelines and the Social Bond Guidelines of the International Capital Market Association.

Tool Outcome

The Sustainable Bond Principles are voluntary process guidelines that recommend transparency and disclosure and promote integrity in the development of the Sustainability Bond market by clarifying the approach for issuance of a Sustainability Bond. The guidelines are intended for broad use by the market: they provide issuers guidance on the key components involved in launching a credible Sustainability Bond; they aid investors by ensuring availability of information necessary to evaluate the environmental impact of their Sustainability Bond investments; and they assist underwriters by moving the market towards standard disclosures which will facilitate transactions.

Sustainability Criteria

The principles are based on four core components:
– Use of proceeds
– Process for project evaluation and selection
– Management of proceeds
– Reporting