Environmental Finance's Sustainable Debt Awards 2024

Initiative of the year - sustainability bond: BTG Pactual

Sanitation in Brazil continues to be a major concern, with over half of the Brazilian population still lacking access to necessary services. One Sustainable Debt Awards judge labelled the issue as a "fundamental" area where sustainable financing can help preserve at-risk water resources as well as improve public health.

Over the past year, Brazilian bank BTG Pactual has helped structure several blue bonds in a bid to facilitate further capital flows into the theme. This included Aegea's BRL5.5 billion ($1.1 billion) two-tranche bond – which won the Sustainability project bond of the year – as well as Iguá Saneamento's BRL3.8 billion bond.

The use of proceeds from both bonds were used to support the expansion of sanitation services and wastewater treatment Across Brazil.

BTG Pactual also reports it has helped to structure around BRL15 billion in labelled bonds in the sector, of which BRL$10.6 billion had a 'blue' label.

Mariana Oiticica, co-head of the ESG and Impact Investing division at BTG Pactual, said the award "represents not only the recognition of the talent and work of our teams but also the trust that our customers place in us".

"I'm proud we have strongly contributed not only to the expansion of funding in a sector with high demand for infrastructure investment and the potential to generate social and environmental benefits but also to disseminate the blue label in the local market".

Another Sustainable Debt Awards judge said this was a "very significant development" for both the blue bond market and Brazil, given how much sanitation projects are needed in the country. They added that the size of the blue bond programme is "very ambitious and innovative".