30 March 2020
Amundi and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched the Green Credit Continuum (Greco) programme in July 2019 to push the sustainable debt market beyond green bonds and support small-scale green projects as well as financing green small- and medium-sized companies.
EIB vice president Ambroise Fayolle said that, while progress on green investment has been "made on many fronts" in Europe, "financing gaps persist". The Greco programme with Amundi was "designed to address these gaps".
In awarding the Greco fund, the judges said it delivered a "unique structure" which funded an "underserved market".
The Greco programme involves three elements: a fund to invest in green debt in Europe, a scientific committee to define green guidelines, and a Green Transaction Network with leading financial institutions to source deals based on those guidelines.
By November 2019, the fundraise for the first vintage of the Greco fund reached €253 million ($285.6 million), of which €60 million was an initial commitment from the EIB.
Initial investors included Danish pension fund Lærernes, French bank Crédit Agricole, and the French state investment firm Caisse des Dépôts. In addition, French social welfare group Agrica and French public reinsurer Caisse Centrale de Réassurance invested in the first vintage.
This initial vintage is targeted to support the European energy transition capital markets. In total, the Greco programme intends to deploy €1 billion across three vintages. Amundi and the EIB believe the fund will support the development of new green investment segments, including green high yield bonds, green securitised credit, and green private debt.
Amundi chief executive, Yves Perrier, said the fund "offers a particularly innovative investment solution" to investors looking to "finance the energy transition and diversify their sources of yield in a low interest rate environment".
The 2020 awards mark the second year that an Amundi fund collaboration scooped the green bond fund of the year accolade. In 2019, the prize was awarded to Amundi and International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Emerging Green One fund.