Award for innovation - use of proceeds (green bond): Snam's transition bond framework

Italian energy infrastructure company Snam's updated transition bond framework was praised by awards judges for being "forward-thinking and innovative".

Snam's June 2020 framework incorporated decarbonisation targets set by the company the preceding November. It included:

  • the updated target of methane (CH4) reduction of 40% by 2025, based on 2016 levels, compared with the previous plan's 25% reduction within the same timeframe; and the setting of a new target to reduce direct and indirect carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions by 40% by 2030, based on 2016 levels; and
  • the enlargement of the eligible use-of-proceeds from bonds issued under the framework, to include the "retrofit of gas transmission networks" – defined as any gas transmission network activities which enable the network to increase the blend of hydrogen and other low-carbon gases – in addition to the eligible categories already identified in the company's 'climate action bond' framework, which was published in 2019.

Snam said the latter was designed to be aligned with the mitigation criteria set out in the draft criteria of the EU taxonomy of sustainable activities, under the category titled Retrofit of Gas Transmission and Distribution Networks.

Snam's bio-methane plant - financed by the transition bond

The company provides the infrastructure for transmission of natural gas but is not involved in any exploration and production or downstream activity.

Environmental Finance Bond Awards judges praised the framework's "great combination of use of proceeds" and the company's explanation of how those align with its longer-term transition objectives.

Snam last year issued two bonds under the framework, worth a combined €1.1 billion, according to Environmental Finance's bond database.