The most relevant concepts of sustainable bonds are the green and social bonds. Here, the green bonds seek to provide loans that will finance projects or activities intended to be of benefit to the environment. The social bonds, on the other hand, target financing projects aimed at promoting positive social-economic outcomes within a given population. There have been several arguments for and against sustainable bonds. The case against these bonds claims they do more harm than good, and they ought to be phased out. The supportive argument presents that they are significant to the current global expectations and are a significant aspect of sustainable living.
Roseland (2012) argues that green bonds have developed into meaning concepts since their emergence. The green bond supports projects such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation, and sustainable water and management of wastewater among others. Also, it is required that proceeds ought to be used solely for projects under such categories. It encourages transparency, creates benchmarks, and investors may easily manage the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) funds (Roseland, 2012). When compared to the traditional investment it is accepted that there are no fundamental differences regarding risk or returns; however, there is a significant evidence of positive contribution over the longer period. The green bonds encourage organizations to take responsibility in supporting a healthier and more sustainable environment (Roseland, 2012).
Swiss Sustainable Finance (2017) observes the claim against green bonds presenting that green bonds may not be used as intended to save the environment; rather they are used to destroy the environment. Investors across the U.S., Asia, and Europe flock to these bonds to build value for their brands (Swiss Sustainable Finance, 2017). These bonds are used to over-hype the personalized interests of investors and not to save the environment. An example of Poland verifies such claims stating millions of euros were raised to support a green environment. However, the result was the promotion of deforestation and coal mining, which are the worst aspects of environmental destruction (Swiss Sustainable Finance, 2017).
Perhaps, not all countries or governments may use the sustainable bonds as intended. Although, the majority of those taking these bonds are using them for the intended purposes; promoting a green environment and improve the society. Kerste and Sikken (2011) claim that social bonds have increased access to education, build sustainable cities and systems of transport, increased renewables in the worldwide energy mix, and assisted communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Curley (2014) emphasizes that these bonds have done more good than harm to the society and the environment. More people get to learn about the relevance and the need for a sustainable environment and society and so far a considerable number support the idea of sustainable bonds (Curley, 2014). Also, Kerste and Sikken (2011) claim more investors show interest in being part of a socially and environmentally sustainable globe. They believe there are significant responsible investment opportunities that will be in support of the greater good.
In conclusion, sustainable bonds intend to tackle elements such as climate change, fight inequalities, and end poverty around the globe. As noted, the debate for sustainable bonds provides that they offer a framework for responsible action on sustainability. Sustainable bonds bring together investors and corporations to work on sustainable developments and care for the environment and empower societies. It is expected that with the implementation of sustainable bonds the world will have a green environment. Societies will experience economic empowerment and social equality. Although there are cases identified with corruption among some governments, the majority take sustainability positively. Measure ought to be taken against those governments that use sustainable bonds to support their personal interests.
- Curley, M. (2014). Finance Policy for Renewable Energy and a Sustainable Environment. New York: CRC Press.
- Kerste, M. (2011). Financing sustainability: Insights for investors, corporate executives, and policymakers. Amsterdam: VU University Press.
- Roseland, M., & Connelly, S. (2005). Toward sustainable communities: Resources for citizens and their governments. Gabriola Island, B.C: New Society Publishers.
- Swiss Sustainable Finance. (2017). Handbook on Sustainable Investments: Background Information and Practical Examples for Institutional Asset Owners. CFA Institute Research Foundation.