Seeking environmental projects
KBN offers a lower interest rate for environmentally friendly projects as we want to contribute to the local government sector going green. And we hope more municipalities and county authorities will apply for green loans.
Kommunalbanken AS (KBN) is Norway’s largest issuer of green bonds, and issued its first green bond in 2010.
“There is a lot of interest in investing in green bonds in the international capital markets, and every green bond issue we have carried out has created a lot of investor interest. We would have had no difficulty raising significantly more to finance more projects”, comments Sigbjørn Birkeland, KBN’s new Chief Financial Markets Officer.
In the first six months of 2017, KBN approved green loans totalling NOK 1.2 billion. This shows that there is sizeable growth potential for green projects given that KBN’s total lending during this period was NOK 19.5 billion.
Member of the Executive Committee of the Green Bond Principles
This summer, Sigbjørn Birkeland was elected to the Executive Committee of the Green Bond Principles (GBP), the leading international industry standard for green bonds. The GBP are followed by more than 130 of the largest and most important financial market participants in the world.
“I want to use my position on the Executive Committee to help create good systems for green bonds and to draw up standards for reporting on projects without the process proving too costly and complicated for small organisations. This is important if we are to make green bonds more widely used”, comments Sigbjørn Birkeland.
Green, low-priced and long-term
Sigbjørn Birkeland is committed to KBN’s role as a long-term partner to Norway’s municipalities.
“We seek to ensure Norway’s municipalities are able to access cheap long-term financing by borrowing capital in the international capital markets. Our aim is to be a stable partner to the local government sector regardless of fluctuations in the financial markets. And since many municipalities are already taking a green approach to construction, they could benefit from financing such projects using a green loan from KBN”, he comments.