Bank of Ireland has raised €750 million to fund sustainable projects through its first green bond. The bank said the bond was three times oversubscribed.
The funding will support projects across renewable energy, clean transportation, green buildings and energy efficiency.
Bank of Ireland first signalled its intentions to enter the burgeoning market for green bonds last September, when it suggested it would raise €300 million-€750 million in its first sale.
In the foreword to its Investing in Tomorrow strategy document launched this week, the bank’s chief executive Francesca McDonagh wrote that the world would “need to do things differently” if we are to “live in a more sustainable way”.
Green bond sales have boomed in recent years, with investor demand growing for socially responsible investment opportunities. Both Bank of Ireland and AIB have signed up to the United Nations' principles for banks to work to support the 2015 Paris climate accord and the UN's sustainable development goals.
"Today is another important milestone on our sustainability journey, with the successful issuance of our inaugural green bond," said Bank of Ireland chief strategy officer Mark Spain.
“The funding raised today enables us to finance even more projects for customers that support their transition to a lower-carbon economy.”
The bank said it had committed to working with customers, colleagues and communities to support their transition to a resilient, net-zero economy by 2050, in line with the Irish and UK government targets.
Bank of Ireland said it would achieve this by setting science-based targets across its portfolios by the end of 2022 and decarbonising its own operations to make them net zero by 2030. The bank already has a €2 billion sustainable finance fund, with €950 million of green loans allocated to home owners and businesses to date.