ESG Data Guide 2024

Bringing transparency and granularity to sustainable debt data

Environmental Finance: The sustainable debt market continues to evolve in both size and complexity. How are Environmental Finance Data covering sustainable bonds and loans?

Ben Smith: Environmental Finance Data has been tracking the sustainable debt market since its inception in 2007 and we have evolved our database in line with the market.

Ben SmithThe database has 36+ interactive data points covering labelled bonds and loans and we produce full sustainable debt activity pictures for issuers, borrowers, lead managers and lenders. Our aim is to make the data as digestible as possible at its most macro and as granular as possible at the most micro. The whole data set is interactive and filterable by 18 different lenses including country, label, currency, issuer type, sector, use of proceeds, SDG, and many others.

We like to keep agile and add new data points and functionalities constantly. We recently added new interactive charting functions to create instant market maps and added data points to improve ESG and greenwashing transparency such as Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), improved second party opinion (SPO) coverage and KPI verification on sustainability-linked products.

In the past few years, we have matched the growth in labels and sub labels, with sustainability-linked and transition growing in prominence and the emergence of blue, orange and dual labels for bonds.

We are also keeping close tabs on regulatory developments, and we have data points covering EU Taxonomy and EU Green Bond Standard alignment.

EF Data is making progress in our coverage of the notoriously opaque sustainable loan market. We have more loans, more data points, and more lenders sending us the publicly available data than ever before. We recently added lender roles such as MLA, bookrunner and sustainability coordinator to more accurately portray lender’s activity in the market.

EF: How do you ensure you are accurately covering the sustainable debt market?

BS: We have a growing team of analysts who manually source, assess, and input the data into our database, this gives us complete confidence in our data validity.

Sustainable bond data has always been more straightforward than sustainable loans when it comes to data availability. We work hard to achieve universal market coverage on sustainable bonds, and we reconcile our data set with more than 30 lead managers on a quarterly basis to ensure we don’t miss any deals.

On the loan side of things, it is a bit more challenging, but we are seeing progress on the data lenders are willing to share with us and the granularity of the data available from borrowers. There is still a long way to go but our data is becoming more and more robust and getting close to giving a more complete picture of the sustainable loan market.

EF: What sets Environmental Finance Data apart from other data providers?

BS:  Environmental Finance Data really prides itself on market coverage and data granularity. Our legacy data covers the debt markets since inception to allow for full debt pictures and market maps.

We also offer a lot of additional context and added value to the data. Our resource library has over 20,000 documents available to assess and download including frameworks, SPOs, and impact reports. We regularly provide expert analysis through webinars, reports, white papers and presentations, all freely available to subscribers.

Environmental Finance Data subscribers also enjoy access to Environmental Finance green bond news, with daily articles, editorials and press releases available through our news tab.

There is no better source of sustainable bond and loan data available, we offer the most comprehensive coverage of labelled sustainable debt market.

EF: What next for EF Data?

BS: We continue to expand our sustainable loan market coverage and the granularity of our sustainable debt data, the next big frontier for us is impact data.

There are over 2000 issuer impact reports in our database resource library, but they are mostly published in inaccessible pdf format, we are working on extracting the data from these reports to provide them in a more interactive format on the database.

We are encountering huge challenges around consistency and comparability in the impact data provided but we will be rolling out new impact data modules for the database in H2 2024.

For more information see

Guide entries by Field Gibson Media