Sustainable Finance

Finance for a sustainable future

The UK's offer

  • A leading centre for green finance quality and depth
  • The global green bond market reached £258bn in 2019
  • Benefit from UK Government commitments to developing green finance
  • 100% of major UK banks offer green loan programmes
  • In 2018, global assets under management incorporating ESG mandates grew from $22.9tn in 2016 to $30.7tn
  • On the London Stock Exchange there are over 120 Green Funds and ETF, and FTSE Russell offers over 180 ESG indexes.

Helping economies worldwide tackle environmental and social challenges

Mobilising and accelerating private capital flows into sustainable projects can lead to a range of societal benefits and can provide investors with a way to ensure their capital is contributing to a resilient future. The UK is a well-established, leading centre for providing sustainable finance services, with a wealth of experience and connections to draw on. Landmark developments are coming to market with increasing frequency. In 2015, the London Stock Exchange was the world’s first exchange to introduce a dedicated green bond segment, which is home to the first certified green bonds out of China, India, the Middle East and the first sovereign green bonds from Asia Pacific and the Americas. 

Alongside green bonds, the response to COVID-19 will drive issuance of social and sustainability bonds, which the London Stock Exchange is prepared to support. In 2019, the London Stock Exchange expanded the green bond segment into a more comprehensive Sustainable Bond Market (SBM) to incorporate sustainable, social and issuer-level segments.  The SBM offers issuers a wide range of opportunities for sustainability-related debt instruments, and investors improved access and transparency.

To date, 155 green bonds, 9 social bonds, 7 sustainability bonds and 77 green issuers from 23 countries and regions are being listed on the SBM, which raised £51bn. The UK's strong track record is set to continue. Green bonds are just one example of the direct contribution that investors can make to financing the transition to net zero. However, the sustainable finance landscape is constantly evolving to develop further tools, products, and thinking needed to build an environmentally and socially resilient future. As the world gears up to finance this transition, London is well-positioned at the forefront. 
 

Download factsheet

Green Horizon Summit - The Pivotal Role of Finance

With a year to go until COP26 takes place in Glasgow, the City of London Corporation and the Green Finance Institute, supported by the World Economic Forum, held a major summit in November, focussing on the role of green finance in the recovery from COVID-19. 

Watch highlights from the Summit

Growth in green and sustainable bonds

The transition to a sustainable global economy requires scaling up the financing of investments that provide environmental and social benefits. The bond markets through green, social and sustainability bonds as well as sustainability-linked bonds can play an essential role in attracting private capital to finance these global needs.

By June 2020 green bonds issuance had reached $868bn

Net zero

carbon emissions by 2050

The UK is the first G7 country to legislate for net zero carbon emissions

139

green bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange

markets from 18 countries, which have raised $26bn

22

green funds listed on the London Stock Exchange

with a value of $9bn

100+

green companies

which generate at least 20 per cent of revenue from green economy industries

We are the UK: working with you

The UK: supporting the global growth of green finance

The UK is leading the change to a sustainable financial future. We’re here, and we’re ready to play our part in a cleaner, greener, future for business.

Leading the internationalisation of green finance

The UK's world-wide reach in financial services ideally places it to build global partnerships in green and sustainable finance. It is pioneering this with initiatives such as the UK-China Green Finance Centre, providing leadership in international cooperation. 

The UK and China are both committed to greening their financial systems and meeting national commitments on climate change. A new report, “ResILIENCE: Lessons to scale responsible investing” published by the UK-China Green Finance Centre, examines how these two pioneer markets can partner to accelerate greening of the recovery, to build back better from COVID-19. 

London hosts VE’s second-party opinion service for sustainable bonds, S&P’s Green Evaluation Service and green finance audit, and compliance services, whilst the Green Finance Institute will champion sustainable finance in the UK and abroad, accelerate the greening of the global financial system and enhance London’s position as a world leader in this field.

Standard setter

London hosts VE’s second-party opinion service for sustainable bonds, S&P’s Green Evaluation Service and green finance audit and compliance services.

Standard setter

One-stop-shop

The UK government and the City of London Corporation have launched the Green Finance Institute embracing international engagement, green fintech, and climate and data science

One-stop-shop

Leading the way

In the UK, 48% of investors say they care about environmental and social issues because ‘our clients want us to’ - substantially higher than the global average of 36%

Leading the way

Setting the standard internationally

London is a leading global financial centre for green finance depth and quality, with only green finance specialist centres ranked higher.

London is a leading global financial centre for green finance depth and quality, with only green finance specialist centres ranked higher.

Place-based impact investing

Together with the Impact Investing Institute, the City of London Corporation is sponsoring research into place-based impact investing.

Together with the Impact Investing Institute, the City of London Corporation is sponsoring research into place-based impact investing.

Enabling growth in the market

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) listed its $1.58bn green bond on the London Stock Exchange - one of the world's largest green bonds. 

The London Stock Exchange’s dedicated global sustainable investment centre issued the world’s 1st certified green bonds and green covered bonds from China, India and the Middle East.

Partner story

Thomas Lloyd: 'The UK has a rich tradition of innovation and green finance is the latest area that's attracting innovation.'

Thomas Lloyd: 'The UK has a rich tradition of innovation and green finance is the latest area that's attracting innovation.'

Partner Story

Agvesto: 'The political administration in the UK is very pro-business from a technology and sustainability point of view.'

Agvesto: 'The political administration in the UK is very pro-business from a technology and sustainability point of view.'

Partner Story

iClima Earth: 'London is a megaphone for us. It gives us that global reach and the credibility of operating out of this super special hub.'

iClima Earth: 'London is a megaphone for us. It gives us that global reach and the credibility of operating out of this super special hub.'

"We are very interested in the initiatives of the UK to encourage sustainable impact green projects. I do think the UK is pioneering in that."

Nandita Sahgal Tully, Managing Director, Merchant Banking ThomasLloyd

Everything you need

The UK offers you everything you need to grow your business.

We have a global outlook, which means we understand your business needs. The depth and breadth of our offer mean unparalleled opportunities for you to grow. Innovation is what we do - creating an inspirational ecosystem where you can thrive. 

Choose the UK