Municipality Finance (MuniFin), the leading provider of financial services to Finland’s local government and public housing sectors, has been welcomed to open trading by the London Stock Exchange to celebrate listing Finland’s first ever green bond.
The 5 year dated benchmark-sized green bond raised $500 million, with 1.48 per cent annual yield and secured high quality global investor support. The bond will be listed on London Stock Exchange’s Green Bond Segment, launched as a world first in 2015 to provide a new range of green fixed income funding options for issuers and investors.
MuniFin will use the proceeds of the green bond to invest in projects that promote the transition to low carbon and climate resilient growth across Finland. Eligible projects are identified in MuniFin’s Green Framework, which was drafted in accordance with the Green Bond Principles, a set of guidelines framing the issuance of green bonds and the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo and in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute.
To celebrate the listing, Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange plc & Director of International Development, London Stock Exchange Group welcomed Pekka Averio, President and CEO, MuniFin, along with Hannele Pokka, Permanent Secretary, Finnish Ministry of Environment to open trading in London this morning.
Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange plc & Director of International Development, London Stock Exchange Group:
“Welcoming MuniFin to London Stock Exchange’s Green Bond Segment today is an historic event: Finland’s first ever green bond has the potential to unlock and promote green financing across the country.
“Last year, London Stock Exchange was the first major exchange globally to launch a dedicated green bond platform and as a recognised world leader in green and sustainable finance, facilitating international investment from Finland to India, China and Japan, we believe there is an opportunity to be the funding partner of choice for the wider Nordic region. There is an undeniable shift in momentum in green and sustainable financing across the world and London Stock Exchange is uniquely placed with its extensive product offering and expertise to support issuers and inventors in this green funding revolution.”
Last year, London Stock Exchange was the first major exchange globally to launch a dedicated green bond platform and as a recognised world leader in green and sustainable finance.
Pekka Averio, President and CEO, MuniFin:
”We are proud to be the first Finnish green bond issuer. Most of our lending portfolio consists of investments that could be categorised as socially or environmentally responsible. As we are one of the most important credit institutions in Finland, we feel that we have a central role in raising environmental awareness in the Finnish public sector and encouraging our customers to make more environmentally friendly investments.
“Our aim is to support this change by offering a small margin discount for projects that are approved green financing. We have a long history with London Stock Exchange in connection with our previous bond issues and we are honoured to list our green bond on London Stock Exchange’s Green Bond Segment.”
Jyrki Katainen, Vice President, European Commission:
“This development is yet another example that sustainable financing is growing fast. The European Commission fully supports the alignment of investments with climate, resource-efficiency and other objectives in line with the Paris Agreement and the circular economy principles. Through the Capital Markets Union Action Plan we are aiming at facilitating investment in green technologies and ensuring that the financial system can finance growth in a way that is sustainable.”
London Stock Exchange Group is a pioneer in supporting the growing global green and sustainable financing movement, providing a comprehensive green and sustainable product offering.
- 37 green bonds issued by international institutions, municipalities and corporates are listed on London Stock Exchange in 7 currencies, having raised over $9.3 billion
- In 2016 alone, 11 new green bonds in 6 different currencies have raised approximately $3.6 billion
- In 2015, LSEG launched a dedicated Green Bond Segment across its fixed income markets, offering a flexible range of market models, open to retail and wholesale investors
- In June 2016, FTSE Russell launched its ground breaking data model that tracks companies that generate green revenues, a critical component missing from current sustainability models
- FTSE Russell provides a series of indices making it easier for investors who are placing greater emphasis on environmental, social and governance considerations such as the FTSE4GOOD Index
- Series, Global ex Fossil Fuels Series and All-World ex Coal Index Series
- There are 38 ‘green companies’ which have raised $10 billion combined in London including, 14 renewable investment funds
- London Stock Exchange is home to a number of global first green bond issuances from India’s Axis Bank, China’s Agricultural Bank of China, Japan’s Development Bank of Japan and the IFC, a member of the world bank group
- LSEG is a member of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange initiative
Consumers Investing in Eco-Friendly Cars with the UK Green Revolution
The UK public appears to be embracing the electric car UK Green Revolution, as recent statistics reveal that more and more consumers are making the switch from petrol and diesel to electric or alternatively fuelled vehicles. The demand for diesel fell by almost a third in October compared to last year, whilst hybrid and electric cars rose by a staggering 36.9%.
Time for UK Green Revolution Change
So, what is the reason for this sudden change? This comes down to the current situation in the UK, which has led to people embracing eco-friendly technologies and automobiles. One of the main reasons is the Government’s clean air plans, which includes the impending 2040 ban on petrol and diesel automobiles. There is then the rollout of the T-Charge in London, the city of Oxford announcing that they will be banning petrol and diesel from the city centre by 2020 and various other big announcements which take up a lot of space and time in the UK press.
In addition to this, the negative publicity against diesel has had a huge impact on the UK public. This has led to a lot of confusion over emissions, but actually, the newest low emission diesel automobiles will not face restrictions and are not as bad to drive as many believe. Most notably, German brand Volkswagen has been affected due to the emissions scandal in recent times. It was discovered that some emissions controls for VW’s turbocharged direct injection diesel engines were only activated during laboratory testing, so these automobiles were emitting 40 times more NO in real-world driving. As a result of this and all the negative publicity, the manufacturer has made adaptations and amended their vehicles in Europe. Additionally, they have made movements to improve the emissions from their cars, meaning that they are now one of the cleaner manufacturers. Their impressive range includes the Polo, Golf and Up, all of which can be found for affordable prices from places like Unbeatable Car.
The Current Market
The confusion over the Government’s current stance on diesel has clearly had a huge impact on the public. So much so that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called on the Government to use the Autumn Budget to restore stability in the market and encourage the public to invest in the latest low emission automobiles. SMMT believes that this is the fastest and most effective way to address the serious air quality concerns in this country.
One way that the Government has encouraged the public to make the switch is by making incentives. Motorists can benefit from a grant when they purchase a new plug-in vehicle, plus there are benefits like no road tax for electric vehicles and no congestion charge. When these are combined with the low running costs, it makes owning an electric automobile an appealing prospect and especially because there are so many great models available and a type to suit every motorist. One of the main reasons holding motorists back is the perceived lack of charging points. However, there are currently over 13,000 up and down the country with this number rapidly increasing each month. It is thought that the amount of charging points will outnumber petrol stations by 2020, so it is easy to see more and more motorists start to invest in electric cars way ahead of the 2040 ban.
It is an interesting time in the UK as people are now embracing the electric car revolution. The Government’s clean air plans seem to have accelerated this revolution, plus the poor publicity that diesel has received has only strengthened the case for making the switch sooner rather than later.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!