External Review Guideline

It is recommended that the issuers to appoint external reviewer to confirm their green finance programme is aligned with the following 4 key components defined in the Green Bond Principle and Green Loan Principle:

Use of Proceeds

  1. Process for Project Evaluation and Selection
  2. Management of Proceeds
  3. Reporting


When structuring the green finance debt instrument , issuers can seek external opinions from different channels (such as organizations with recognized expertise in green finance) in order to provide following types of external review:

  • An institution, who has environmental expertise and is independent from the issuer and does not involved in the structuring of the programme, can provide Second Party Opinion. The programme’s consistency with Green Bond Principle or Green Loan Principle.
  • This type of review is typically:
    • at pre-issuance stage,
    • with green finance framework and greenness of eligible green projects as the subject matters.
  • An institution, who has environmental and verification expertise and is independent from the issuer and does not involved in the structuring and implementation of the programme, can provide verification.
  • Verification includes use and allocation of proceeds, statement of environmental impact and reporting mechanisms.
  • This type of review is typically:
    • at post-issuance stage,
    • with focus on use of proceeds, management of proceeds and environmental benefits.

Issuers can apply certification for their Green Bonds or Green Loans, Green Finance Frameworks and potential eligible green projects are assessed against national / international green standards and certification requirements. Below are two of the third party certification bodies which provide green finance certification schemes.

  • Establishing a transparent and effective green bond market
  • Developing Climate Bond Standard and Certification Service
    • Identify investments that have valuable contributions
    • Provide credit guarantees for green financial products
    • Issuer needs to conduct independent verification before and after bond issuance in order to ensure the bond meets the requirements of the climate bond standard. The process is as below:


  1. Prepare the bond
    • Identify assets that meet the relevant sector criteria and prepare the supporting document
    • Create Green Bond Framework to list out the use of proceeds
  2. Engage a verifier
    • Engage an approved verifier for Pre- and Post- Issuance Certification
    • Provide related documents to verifier
    • Receive a verifier’s report, giving assurance that Climate Bonds Standard requirements are met
  3. Get certified and Issue a Certified Climate Bond
    • Submit the verifier’s report and information to Climate Bonds Initiative
    • Receive a decision on Pre-issuance Certification
    • Issue the bond, using the Certified Climate Bond mark
  4. Confirm the Certification Post-Issuance
    • Submit the Verifiers Post Issuance Report within 24 months of issuance
    • Receive notification of Post-Issuance Certification
  5. Report annually
    • Prepare a simple report to bond holders and Climate Bonds Initiative each year
    • Provide updates through public disclosure
Hong Kong
    • Exploring new commercial and business opportunities in the Green Finance Market
    • Promoting Green Finance
    • Fostering environmentally-friendly investments and facilitate the development of Green Finance and Green Industry
    • Green and Sustainable Finance Certification Scheme Development
      • Attracting potential investors
      • Demonstrating issuers’ effort in promoting environmentally-friendly investment
      • Promoting Green Finance
      • Types of Certification:

  • The Green Bond Framework and the Use of Proceeds of issuers can be evaluated or assessed by qualified third parties (such as rating agencies) according to an established scoring and rating methodology
  • This scoring is different from credit ratings but it still reflects environmental, social and governance risks to some extent
  • According the Green Bond Assessment Overview established by Moody’s Analytics
  • The evaluation is based on 5 factors: