Source: Bank of Ireland
Bank of Ireland has today launched a framework that will enable the Bank to issue Green Bonds and finance additional projects across renewable energy, green buildings, and clean transportation.
This follows the launch of the Bank’s Sustainable Finance Fund last year, which has provided c€600 million to date in green loans to home owners and businesses.
Bank of Ireland has also reduced the carbon intensity within its own operations by 40% since 2011.
The improvement in the Bank’s Responsible and Sustainable Business profile has been recognised by an enhanced rating from Sustainalytics, a global leader in sustainability advisory and ESG ratings.
Bank of Ireland became a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking in 2019 and a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Finance Disclosures (TCFD) in 2020, signifying the Bank’s drive to help address climate risks. The recently-agreed Programme for Government sets out ambitious targets for Ireland to halve carbon emissions over the course of the next decade. The Green Bond Framework is another important step in Bank of Ireland’s journey as it defines the loans or investments eligible to be financed through its green bonds.
Mark Spain, Chief Strategy Officer, Bank of Ireland said: “When we became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, we said that it signified our commitment to play a key part in the global drive for more responsible banking operations. Since then, we have made great progress, providing nearly €600m in green loans and mortgages across Ireland and making significant strides in transforming our own operations and reducing our property and carbon footprint. We are delighted that these improvements have been recognised this year through an enhanced rating from Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG and corporate governance research and ratings.
“Today is another significant step on the Bank’s sustainability journey, with the launch of our Green Bond Framework. Our ambition is to be the National Champion Bank in Ireland, and conducting our business in a responsible and sustainable way is fundamental to our purpose of enabling our customers, colleagues and communities to thrive. Our commitment to supporting a low carbon economy requires funding and the Framework ultimately enables us to finance more projects that mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions. We will continue to support more customers with their sustainability ambitions, reduce our own carbon footprint and make further progress on this critical agenda.”
Bank of Ireland’s Responsible & Sustainable Business Initiatives include:
• 50% carbon intensity reduction target for 2030 (on a 2011 baseline), within the Bank’s operations - 40% reduction has been already achieved
• €2bn Sustainable Finance Fund - encouraging and rewarding energy-efficient homes, investment in older properties to improve sustainability performance, and SME and agri investment in energy efficiency
• The launch of Ireland’s first Green Mortgage Interest Rate - borrowers can receive a discount off fixed rate interest options (from 1 to 10 years) to finance the purchase, construction, or renovation of residential buildings with an A-rated or to achieve an A-rated BER energy performance
• Green Home Improvement Loan - designed to fund energy efficient upgrades, borrowers offered loan a discounted rate for amounts from €2,000 to €65,000
• Green Business Loan - discounted finance offered to businesses who want to implement energy saving initiatives to reduce their energy costs and their carbon footprint
• Providing finance to Renewable Energy projects which to date has provided the equivalent of 468,000 homes with renewable generated electricity
• Green Bond Framework facilitates the issuance of Green Bonds, enabling additional finance across renewable energy, green buildings and clean transportation
Sustainalytics has assessed Bank of Ireland’s Green Bond Framework, to ensure alignment of the Framework with the Green Bond Principles as published by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA).