Nordic issuers release 2020 update to their green bonds impact reporting guide

The Position Paper on Green Bonds Impact Reporting, originally launched in October 2017 by a group of ten Nordic public sector issuers, has been published in an updated version. The new version replaces the January 2019 version.  

– We find great value in working together. Advancing impact reporting practices remains a priority for all of us, says Björn Bergstrand, Head of Sustainability at Sweden’s Kommuninvest and coordinator of the Nordic cooperation.

With the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan and the EU Green Bond Standard (EU GBS) soon to become a reality, the Nordic issuers are anticipating even stronger interest for a harmonised approach to green bonds impact reporting going forward. The group aims to contribute to the development of a methodology in this field.

– While the EU GBS and the Taxonomy are not yet in full force, certain recommendations have been added to accommodate the suggested requirements, says Björn Bergstrand.

This includes recommendations on providing both allocation and impact reporting, to distinguish between financing and refinancing, and to report a breakdown of projects by the nature of what is being financed. In addition, the Position Paper’s existing mapping to the SDGs has been expanded to incorporate also the EU Environmental Objectives. 

The updated recommendations will see the Nordic issuers report less CO2 impact, in relative terms, from many of their financed green investments. This is because the baseline emission factor for electricity has been revised downwards, from 380 g CO2e/kWh to 315 g CO2e/kWh, to echo updated grid factors from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), including the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB).

Torunn Brånå, Head of Green Finance at Norway’s Kommunalbanken and chairperson of the cooperation’s technical/environmental working group, says the emission factor for electricity is a key assumption when calculating the environmental impact of the projects financed.

– Deciding on a joint approach for estimating the impact of electricity used, reduced or produced has been one of the important tasks of this group. Now, for the first time, the emission factor has been updated to reflect mainly a more ambitious expected decarbonisation of the European energy grids.

Torunn Brånå says revising the grid factor to result in less reported CO2 impact is good news.

– This means the development of our energy systems are going in the right direction. The revision will lower the positive impact of energy efficiency projects and renewable energy production, whilst reducing the negative impact of an increased use of electricity, be it for electrical bus fleets or the operation of a project.

Although developed with the primary aim of assisting Nordic public sector borrowers in reporting the environmental impact from their investments, signatories also hope that the Position Paper will prove useful for issuers from the private sector, issuers from other countries as well as for the investor community.

– Resolving climate issues is at the heart of government agendas and policy papers all over the world, with various actors increasingly being expected to demonstrate their impact and climate actions. The financial industry has a key role in the transition, not least in providing robust and credible transparency to stakeholders, says Eeva Toivonen, ESG Analyst at MuniFin and the Finnish spokesperson for the Nordic cooperation.

The Position Paper has been developed by a group comprising public sector green bond issuers from the four Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. They include the local government funding agencies Kommunalbanken (Norway), Kommuninvest (Sweden) and MuniFin (Finland); the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK); and seven Swedish municipal or regional issuers including City of Gothenburg, the municipalities of Lund, Norrköping, Västerås and Örebro, Region Skåne and Region Stockholm.

The issuers’ work is supported by SEB and Crédit Agricole CIB, with input from CICERO Shades of Green, the Nordic Investment Bank, as well as several investors.

About the Nordic Position Paper on Green Bonds Impact Reporting

The Nordic Position Paper proposes an outline for reporting environmental benefits of green bond investments. It also provides guidance on general matters such as to distinguish between reduced and avoided emissions, as well as to report impact in relation to disbursed green bond allocations.

Moreover, the Paper provides suggestions for metrics and indicators relevant to eight different project categories. The effort builds upon reporting approaches suggested by the Green Bond Principles and multilateral development banks, as outlined in the GBP Handbook – Harmonized Framework for Impact Reporting.

The Paper is used as the reference framework for emerging impact reporting platforms such as the Green Assets Wallet and the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network Platform. It is also referenced in the proposal for an EU Green Bonds Standard, published by the EU Commission’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.

The Paper is available for download from the signatories’ web pages such as,, and also from the ICMA Resource Centre for Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds,

Contact information

Eeva Toivonen, ESG Analyst, +358 504 643 073, email:

Secretariat for the Position Paper and main contact for questions & comments
Björn Bergstrand, Head of Sustainability, +46 708 86 94 76, e-mail:

Chairperson of the Nordic issuers technical/environmental working group
Torunn Brånå, Head of Green Finance, +47 911 58 528, e-mail:

MuniFin publishes the first Nordic SSA social bonds framework and launches a new social finance product

With this launch, MuniFin continues to be the forerunner in offering sustainable finance products in Finland and in the Nordics.

MuniFin’s Social Bonds Framework is aligned with the Social Bond Principles published by ICMA and ISS ESG has provided a second opinion of the framework.

Social finance project selection is based on MuniFin’s Social Bonds Framework and final approval is made by the Social Evaluation Team. The team consists of two independent experts and one MuniFin representative.

Financing Finland’s welfare state

MuniFin is the largest provider of financing to municipalities and the social housing sector in Finland. Municipalities play a key role in maintaining Finland’s welfare state, as they are responsible for the majority of service production, including education and healthcare. Social housing organisations on the other hand ensure that affordable housing is available. They also aim to tackle social issues like homelessness and social exclusion.

The eligible project categories that have been selected for MuniFin’s Social Bonds Framework are in the core of MuniFin’s customer finance business. Eligible project categories under the Use of Proceeds include housing, welfare and education.

The projects have to meet additional criteria in order to be eligible for the Social Finance product. In the selection process, special emphasis is placed on targeting the most vulnerable parts of the population and areas where investments by the municipalities will likely have the greatest impact on the area’s vitality.

Social financing funded by social bonds

MuniFin plans to issue an inaugural benchmark sized Social Bond in the second half of 2020 and intends to make it an integral part of the annual funding program going forward. MuniFin’s themed bond issuances, consisting of green and social bonds, will account for roughly 10–15% of new funding annually.

– Corporate responsibility is in the very DNA of MuniFin. We strive to be in the forefront in the responsibility of our products and services, processes and operations. It seemed only natural to take this new step in broadening our sustainable product offering, says Joakim Holmström, the Head of Capital Markets at MuniFin.

MuniFin was the first credit institution in Finland to launch green finance for environmental investments in 2016. In the same year, the agency also issued Finland’s inaugural green bond.

Read more about MuniFin Social Bonds:

Information on social bonds, MuniFin Social Bonds Framework and a ISS ESG’s second party opinion on the framework are available at our Social Bonds site >

Further information:

Joakim Holmström, Head of Capital Markets
tel. +358 50 444 3638

Soili Helminen, Manager, Communications and CSR
tel. +358 400 204 853

Aku Dunderfelt to lead MuniFin’s Customer Finance

Aku Dunderfelt (born 1975) has been appointed as the new Head of Customer Finance and a member of MuniFin Executive Management Team. Mr Dunderfelt has previously worked in different positions in the financial sector, Mr Dunderfelt begins in his new position at MuniFin on 5 August 2019.

– Aku has extensive experience within the banking sector. He will bring with him strong expertise in customer relations, says Esa Kallio, the President and CEO of MuniFin

Further information:

President and CEO Esa Kallio, tel. +358 50 337 7953.

Timo Vesala appointed Chief Economist at MuniFin

Timo Vesala, 44, has been appointed as Chief Economist at Municipality Finance (MuniFin). The role of Chief Economist is new, since MuniFin has not previously had this position. Mr. Vesala held the role of Chief Economist at Savings Banks Group before joining MuniFin.

– Mr. Vesala has a strong background in research, portfolio management and most recently as a chief economist. This unique skill set brings along valuable and wide-ranging expertise. The role of the Chief Economist at MuniFin is different from similar positions in commercial banks as this role has an especially strong societal aspect. MuniFin’s mission is to build a better future together with our customers. With the help of Mr. Vesala’s new role we will be able to deepen our own expertise and support our customers’ every day work in a very concrete way by helping them to interpret the effects of global economic trends to municipal finances in Finland, says Esa Kallio, the President and CEO of MuniFin.

– As the Chief Economist Mr. Vesala will have a strong role throughout MuniFin’s organisation, supporting the decision-making in different business areas. MuniFin’s EUR 6–8 billion funding program makes it crucial to analyse the developments in the global markets, says Joakim Holmström, Head of Capital Markets at MuniFin. 

However, it is just as important to be able to offer insight of future trends in Finland.

– Besides the global markets, MuniFin’s Chief Economist has to understand the impacts of both international economic developments and Finland’s internal trends for the Finnish economy. This is crucial in order to thoroughly understand our customers’ operating environment, Mr. Holmström says.

– I see working as MuniFin’s Chief Economist an opportunity to be part of a company that has a central role in the Finnish society. Due to the wide-ranging nature of the role, I feel I am in a position to make a great impact. As an economist I want to give the company and its customers a reliable view on the big picture and the direction where the economy is headed, Timo Vesala says.

Further information:

President and CEO Esa Kallio, tel. +358 50 337 7853

Executive Vice President, Capital Markets Joakim Holmström, tel. +358 50 444 3638

Chief Economist Timo Vesala, tel. +358 50 5320 702

Changes in Municipality Finance Executive Management Team

Two members of the Executive Management Team of Municipality Finance (MuniFin) are to change. The CFO Marjo Tomminen and Head of Customer Finance Jukka Helminen are leaving their positions and will not continue working for the company. These decisions were made in a mutual understanding and the changes will take effect immediately.

– I would like to thank Marjo and Jukka for the work they have done for MuniFin in the past years. I wish them all the best for the future, says Esa Kallio, the President and CEO of MuniFin.

Harri Luhtala (born 1965, M.Sc. Econ.) has been appointed as the new CFO and a member of MuniFin Executive Management Team. Mr Luhtala has previously worked in different positions at OP Financial Group, where he last acted as CFO. Mr Luhtala begins in his new position at MuniFin on 8 May 2019.

The selection process for a new director to lead MuniFin’s customer finance is currently ongoing. Customer Finance is temporarily lead by Joakim Holmström, the head of MuniFin’s Capital Markets. Mr Holmström will lead Customer Finance until the nomination of a new Head of Customer Finance.

– The finance industry and our customers’ operating environment are changing rapidly. In order to respond to these changes we need to develop the line-up of our Executive Management Team to better serve our customers’ and internal needs, Esa Kallio says.

MuniFin goes green again – with exceptionally strong investor demand

The mandate of a new 10-year Green bond was announced in the afternoon on Monday 1 July. On Tuesday 2 July MuniFin arranged a Global Investor Call and books for the benchmark were opened on Wednesday morning, 3 July at mid-swaps -5 area. Investor demand was exceptionally strong from the outset and the book grew quickly. Just over an hour after announcement (10.10 CET), the guidance was revised directly to -7 bps area, with orders over EUR 1.2 billion. Books closed at 11.00 CET at mid-swaps -8 basis points. The final order book was over EUR 2 billion. Close to 90 accounts participated in the transaction.

The order book was dominated by investors from Europe, accounting for 81% of the transaction. Asia presented 12%, North America 6% and the Middle East 1%. Central Banks & Official Institutions represented the largest share of allocations (34%), closely followed by Banks (30%), Insurance Companies & Pension Funds (20%), Asset managers (15%) and Others (1%).

The transaction is MuniFin’s second EUR-denominated Green bond, having issued a USD Green bond in 2016 as well as a EUR and AUD Green bond in 2017. With this transaction MuniFin has issued approximately EUR 1.5 billion equivalent in Green bond format.

“We started our green journey more than three years ago and this is our fourth Green bond issued so far. We are very pleased to see that investors are comfortable with our credit and the green story. The investor base in our Green bonds is much broader than in our conventional benchmarks, which also reduces execution risk. Pricing through our existing EUR benchmark curve shows that investors are thirsty for Green bonds”, says Antti Kontio, Head of Funding and CSR at MuniFin.

“MuniFin won Environmental Finance’s Green Bond Issuer of the Year (SSA) Award for its inaugural Euro-denominated Green Bond transaction, and MuniFin’s second EUR Green Bond has echoed the success of the first. It was a phenomenal success; in terms of oversubscription, both high-quality and sustainability focused investor participation, and pricing outcome seen at negative 2 bps new issue premium, despite a challenging low-yield environment. The outstanding result is a testament to MuniFin’s dedication to the Green Bond market and its marketing efforts and excellent relationship with the Green Bond investor community”, says Kamal Grossard-Amin, Head of SSA DCM at Nordea.

Details of the transaction:

EUR 500 million 0.05% Green Benchmark due 6 September 2029

Issuer: Municipality Finance PLC (Kuntarahoitus Oyj)
Rating:Aa1/AA+ (Stable/Stable)
Issuer Size:EUR 500m
Payment Date:10 July 2019
Maturity Date:6 September 2029
Coupon:0.05% Fixed, Annual, Act/Act, ICMA, Short first
Re-offer Price:99.970%
Re-offer Yield:0.053%
Re-offer vs Mid Swaps:       -8 bps
Re-offer vs Benchmark:    +43.8 bps over DBR 0.25% due Feb-29
Lead Managers:   Crédit Agricole CIB, HSBC, Nordea, Rabobank

More information:

Antti Kontio, Head of Funding and CSR, tel. +358 9 6803 5634

Joakim Holmström, Head of Capital Markets, tel. +358 9 6803 5674

Nasdaq Helsinki is the new listing venue for MuniFin’s bonds

On April 5 MuniFin listed its four outstanding benchmark bonds on Nasdaq Helsinki. The bonds are issued under MuniFin’s EUR 30 billion euro medium term note programme (EMTN.)

The listing of these bonds marks the first step in Munifin’s ambition to list all their new bonds under the program requiring listing on Nasdaq Helsinki. A euro medium term note is a medium-term, flexible debt instrument designed to make it easy for issuers to raise capital and enter foreign markets.

– We are pleased to use Nasdaq Helsinki for all our future bond listings. MuniFin is one of the most active bond issuers in Finland and we have a diversified and growing investor base around the globe. Nasdaq Helsinki is a well-recognised stock exchange and a natural choice for us, said Joakim Holmström, Head of Capital Markets at MuniFin.

– We are dedicated towards building a strong and dynamic Nordic financial market and are keen to partner with MuniFin in it. Last year we launched a dedicated Sustainable Bond market in Finland, and MuniFin was the first issuer to list green bonds on Nasdaq Helsinki. MuniFin is a market leader and we are pleased with their decision to list additional bonds in Helsinki today. We look forward to developing a booming bond market in Finland and hope MuniFin’s decision will inspire other issuers to join the market, said Henrik Husman, President of Nasdaq Helsinki.

– MuniFin’s green bond listing last year attracted a lot of attention and we believe it contributed to a pipeline of prospective new green bond issuers in Finland. There is no doubt in our minds that the Finnish market will see more green bonds being issued in the coming years as the market is amongst the most mature in terms of sustainability and transparency, said Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, Head of Nordic Fixed Income listings at Nasdaq.

MuniFin’s USD 1bn benchmark three times oversubscribed within one hour

Books opened on Wednesday morning at 8.00am GMT with guidance of MS +15 bps area after first collecting indications of interest at +16 bps area overnight.  The books were closed shortly at 9.00am GMT, the strong demand allowing MuniFin to fix the spread at MS +14 basis points. Final orders were in excess of USD 3 billion. This represents the largest-ever orderbook for a MuniFin USD benchmark.

– We are delighted with the outcome of the trade. The USD is one of MuniFin’s strategic benchmark markets and we’re pleased to have seen such a strong reception for this trade from our long-standing investor base. This was one of the fastest book-building processes for a USD transaction that I can remember and the USD 3bn+ of orders represent the largest-ever orderbook for a MuniFin USD deal, says Joakim Holmström, the Head of Capital Markets at MuniFin.

More than 45 investors participated in this transaction with particularly strong demand from central banks, official institutions and bank treasuries. Geographically, half of the demand originated from the EMEA region.

Keys to success: strong name recognition and swift reaction to a favourable market backdrop

The lead managers of the transaction were Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BMO, Nomura and Scotiabank.

– This is an outstanding result for MuniFin’s first USD benchmark of the year. A three times oversubscribed book and pricing through their curve is testament to MuniFin’s strong name recognition in the USD market, comments Managing Director Massimo Antonelli of BMO Capital Markets.

– Municipality Finance delivered a textbook USD benchmark transaction by moving swiftly in reaction to a favourable market backdrop. The outsized orderbook reflected a broad appeal of the name to a wide variety of investors; this in turn allowed Municipality Finance to price extremely tight versus its curve and its peers, says Cesare Roselli, Managing Director of Scotiabank.

Issue size: USD 1 bn
Settlement date: 20 March 2019
Maturity date: 15 November 2023
Re-offer spread: MS +14bps / CT5 +20.2bps
Coupon: 2.500%
Re-offer: 99.471% / 2.622% s.a.

Year 2018 in figures: MuniFin’s annual report, responsibility report and green bonds impact report for 2018 are published

MuniFin’s lending has wide impact on society and therefore responsibility has been broadly integrated in the company’s strategy. Responsibility is also one of the company’s core values.  

The responsibility report assesses MuniFin’s key principles of responsibility with the help of goals and indicators related to each one of them. Responsibility at MuniFin is based on four key principles: responsible products and services, forerunner in sustainability, improving wellbeing at work and strong corporate governance.

Green finance continues to grow steadily

MuniFin launched green finance for its customers in 2016. With the help of the instrument, the company wants to make the climate-friendly green projects more common in Finland.

In 2018, 20 new green projects were added in the green portfolio. Since 2016, EUR 1.143 billion has been withdrawn to finance green projects.

The share of green finance of MuniFin’s total lending and leasing portfolio was 5% at the end of 2018. It is the company’s goal that by the end of 2022 green finance accounts for 10% of the financing portfolio.  

More information:

Soili Helminen, Manager, Communications, tel. +358 400 204 853
Eeva Toivonen, ESG Analyst, tel. +358 50 464 3073

Video: MuniFin for investors

What is MuniFin all about?

MuniFin is a Finnish local government funding agency with a mission to support and develop the wellbeing of the society.

On a brand new video our Head of Capital Markets Joakim Holmström and the Head of Funding Antti Kontio discuss what makes MuniFin special and what you should know about our funding.