Impact report of the year: SNCF Reseau

Channels: Green Bonds

Companies: SNCF Reseau

SNCF Reseau has set a high standard for others to follow in the field of impact reporting.

SNCF, which operates 15,000 trains per day in France running on 2,600km of high-speed tracks, issued detailed reporting that reveals how projects financed by green bonds reduce the carbon footprint of its entire network.

According to data from Environmental Finance's Green Bond Database, SNCF has issued three green bonds that raised a combined total of €2.65 billion ($3.25 billion) in 2016 and 2017.

SNCF has developed a methodology that makes it possible to assess the carbon footprint of its entire green bond programme, by comparing its emissions to a baseline scenario.

It concluded that it avoided 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from its renovation projects funded by its green bonds, with an average time it will take for the projects to hit carbon neutrality of 3.3 years.

Investors hailed "the exhaustive nature and transparency" of this information in relation to the use of raised capital.

One investor judge commented that SNCF's work provides "a truly innovative approach to impact reporting, with a very detailed and impressive framework."

SNCF explained its approach was born out of a concern for transparency.

Its methodology also encourages other issuers to calculate and disclose any avoided emissions of their green bonds and to ask key questions during the impact assessment.

SNCF's impact report could be used as a reference methodology for the railway infrastructure sector.