Impact report of the year (for issuers only): IFC's Social Bond Impact Report 2018

Channels: Green Bonds

Companies: IFC, Umeme

People: Flora Chao

The IFC was one of the first social bond issuers to align committed social projects to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Its 2018 Social Bond Impact report incorporates investors' feedback by including a mapping to the SDGs, and an impact assessment table presents projects eligible for funding with IFC social bond proceeds.

The IFC said the report sets a precedent for potential issuers regarding the transparency and clarity of data.

"IFC has been at the forefront of advocating for transparency in social bond reporting because impact should be demonstrated to financial investors and potential issuers, particularly in emerging markets," the IFC notes.

IFC's social bond impact reports align with the Social Bond Principles.

"Our Social Bond Impact Report follows the highest standards: a concise description of each project eligible for social bond funding, baseline and target impact indicators at the portfolio level, geographic and industry distribution, and alignment to the SDGs," the IFC said.

In its full year 2017 report, the IFC committed $20 million to electricity distribution company Umeme in Uganda. The project, which is aligned to SDG 9 (industry, innovation, infrastructure), will support increased and better quality access of customers to electricity and the grid. It counted 3.4 million customers as its baseline - the starting point - and had a target to reach 5.4 million customers in 2018.

Flora Chao, global head of funding at IFC, said: "We are on the executive committee of the Green and Social Bond Principles and participated in the development of the Principles. As co-chair of the Social Bond Working Group, we were instrumental in the drafting of the Harmonized Framework for Impact Reporting for Social Bonds, which outlines parameters for reporting on eligible projects."