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World Bank Publishes Study on Post-Issuance Green, Social and Sustainability Bond Reporting by Emerging Market Sovereigns

Washington, June 6, 2024: A new study Trends in Allocation and Impact Reporting: Ensuring Transparency in Emerging Market Sovereign Green, Social, and Sustainability Bonds by the World Bank found that emerging market sovereign issuers are publishing allocation and impact reports after the issuance of green, social and sustainability (GSS) bonds. However, there is scope for improvement to meet investor expectations. The report is based on a comprehensive analysis of GSS bond allocation and impact reports combined with surveys of public debt management offices and investors and identifies best practices and helpful insights.

The study was conducted by the World Bank’s Sustainable Finance and ESG Advisory Services Program, that provides technical assistance to emerging market public sector issuers developing GSS-labeled bond markets.

Post-issuance reporting on the use of proceeds allocated to environmental and social projects and their expected impact is one of the core components of these Principles. Almost 90% of emerging market sovereign issuers of GSS-labeled bonds meet these core reporting Principles, but a third of them did not publish the reports within 12 months of issuance, as expected by investors.

Investors surveyed for the World Bank study said that they evaluate a variety of factors before investing in GSS bonds, including the issuer’s efforts to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rating, Nationally Determined Contributions, and GHG reduction targets. Impact and allocation reports for GSS bond proceeds help investors make investment decisions, even for non GSS-labeled bonds issued by the same issuer. Other findings include that about 25% of issuers do not have a dedicated web page for GSS bond-related documents, many do not use the core indicators recommended by ICMA, and reports are often not verified by an independent external review. 

“The study shows that investors continue to appreciate the rigor and transparency of reporting that issuers of GSS-labeled bonds provide, including reports prepared by emerging market public sector issuers,” said Jorge Familiar, Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank. “It gives helpful insights for issuers looking to improve their reporting to attract more investors interested in data on the positive social and environmental impact that projects financed by the issuers help achieve.”

Most emerging market public sector issuers surveyed noted that GSS-labeled bonds helped them expand and diversify their investor base. As of April 2024, 53 sovereign issuers have issued GSS-labeled bonds, totaling US$540 billion, including 25 emerging market sovereigns. By adhering to reporting best practices, issuers can give investors more confidence about whether the funds raised are being allocated to the intended purposes and assure them of their role in supporting progress toward environmental and social sustainability. 

The World Bank remains committed to supporting emerging market sovereigns in their efforts attract financing from investors interested in sustainable finance and will continue to build capacity to meet market standards and monitor and analyze trends in allocation and impact reporting to promote transparency and accountability in the GSS bond market.

Read more about the report here: Trends in Allocation and Impact Reporting: Ensuring Transparency in Emerging Market Sovereign Green, Social, and Sustainability Bonds

Learn more about World Bank’s Sustainable Finance and ESG Advisory Services Program.


Washington, DC  
Banu Turhan


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