Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Green bond of the year - agency: KfW

Following on from a landmark green bond issuance in 2022, which won them the same award last year, KfW started 2023 with a €3 billion ($3.2 billion) no-grow ten-year issuance.

The bond was over 11 times oversubscribed, which matches KfW's largest-ever order book for a green transaction. It also saw some of its most diversified investor interest, with over 280 different accounts – 65% of which KfW says were "green investors".

The German development bank reports this high demand from investors allowed it to "tighten" pricing by three basis points from initial plans.

The bond's proceeds went towards KfW's promotional loans programmes which invest in energy-efficient buildings in Germany and renewable energy projects – particularly wind and solar farms.

A small percentage of the proceeds also went towards clean transportation and financing local public transport infrastructure.

KfW claims the bond will help to avoid around 620,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which will be externally evaluated by unnamed independent agencies.

Petra WehlertThe bank also updated its bond framework to include biodiversity elements.

Petra Wehlert, head of capital markets told Environmental Finance that the transaction was "crucial to us exceeding our €10 billion green funding target in 2023". The oversubscription of the bond "also showed the robust and continuously increasing investor demand for green bonds. Investors like the product, we like the product".

She added that "in response to investor feedback, we have now included international financing and biodiversity projects in our green bond framework, which will apply to all new green bonds from 2024".

Deal highlights:

Issuer: KfW
Size: €3 billion ($3.2 billion)
Maturity: 14 February 2033
Coupon: 2.75%
Use of proceeds: Clean transportation, energy efficiency, renewable energy
External reviewer: Cicero
Lead managers: Barclays, Crédit Agricole CIB, DZ Bank, TD Securities
Credit rating: Moody's (Aaa), Scope (AAA), S&P Global (AAA)