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Business is booming – and paying its way

Sustainable finance products have plotted a remarkable growth curve over the last few years. As recently as a decade or so ago, total issues of sustainable bonds and loans amounted to no more than about US$ 20 billion to US$ 30 billion a year.

A niche product?

Not at all! The tide turned in 2014, when the total rose to US$ 64 billion. Two years later it had more than doubled to US$ 145 billion. This exponential rate of growth persisted and by 2018 total issues had already reached US$ 308 billion.

"Since then we have seen two more big jumps, adding significant momentum to what was already a burgeoning market," reports Klaus Distler. The total volume of sustainable bonds and loans in 2020 touched EUR 730 billion, more than ten times as much as at the start of the boom six years ago. Now booms in the financial sector are generally a warning to be cautious, but this one is sustainable in both senses of the word. "Public attitudes to the issue and the regulations being put in place by policymakers mean that the relevance of sustainable finance is only going to increase," Klaus Distler affirms.

„Public attitudes to the issue and the regulations being put in place by policymakers mean that the relevance of sustainable finance is only going to increase.“

Klaus Distler,
Helaba

More and more often, the interest costs for promissory notes or loans are directly linked to the company's sustainability performance and the fact that sustainability measures thus also make good economic sense for companies in search of loan capital further strengthens the case.

€ 730 bn

total volume of sustainable bonds and loans in 2020 in EUR

Klaus Distler, Head of Corporate Debt Capital Markets
Klaus Distler, Head of Corporate Debt Capital Markets

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Sustainable Finance Glossary – Image Source: Lobro78 via Getty Images
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