Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Green bond of the year - corporate (EMEA): Stora Enso

Despite facing "tough competition" in this category, according to the judges, Stora Enso has won green bond of the year for corporates in EMEA, as judges praised its Green and Sustainability-Linked Financing Framework.

In May 2023, Stora Enso updated its framework, outlined green use of proceed categories, as well as setting sustainability-linked targets for greenhouse gas reduction, recycling and biodiversity.

Kaarlo HöysniemiSimultaneously, Stora Enso issued a €1 billion ($1.1 billion) dual tranche green bond, linked to the framework.

SEB, a lead manager of the transaction, claimed the bond attracted "strong" investor interest and it ended up with an order book that was four times oversubscribed.

"We are honoured to be recognised for our green bond issuance. The proceeds of the bonds are utilised for refinancing our certified forestland in Sweden for sustainable forest management and financing fibre-based packaging mill investment in Finland for sustainable product processes," Kaarlo Höysniemi, Stora Enso's group treasurer, commented.

"The backbone of the issuance lies in our recently updated Green and Sustainability-Linked Financing Framework. Although this time we only utilised the green aspect of the framework, the sustainability-linked part of the framework's KPIs is pioneering. In addition to Scope 1 and 2 and Scope 3 emission reduction targets, it also includes innovative circularity and biodiversity KPIs."

Focused on sustainable forest management and low-carbon alternatives, Stora Enso is a renewable packaging, biomaterials and wooden construction provider that seeks to advance the circular bioeconomy.

Deal highlights:

Issuer: Stora Enso
Size: €1 billion (dual tranche, €500 million each)
Maturity: 01 June 2026 / 01 September 2029
Coupon: 4% / 4.25%
Use of proceeds: Eco-efficient products, production technologies and processes, energy efficiency, pollution prevention and control, renewable energy, sustainable management of living natural resources, and sustainable water management
External reviewer: Sustainalytics
Lead managers: BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole CIB, Danske Bank, SEB