ICMA, IsDB and LSEG publish guidance on green, social and sustainability sukuk


ICMA IsDB LSEG Guidance on Green, Social and Sustainability Sukuk - April 202429 April 2024 The International Capital Market Association (ICMA), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group) today publish new guidance on the issuance of green, social and sustainability sukuk (together, “sustainable sukuk”).

A copy of the guidance can be found here.

The guidance is the result of a collaboration between ICMA, IsDB and LSEG, who convened at COP28 in December 2023. It aims to provide issuers and other key market participants with practical information on how sukuk may be labelled as green, social or sustainability and aligned with the ICMA Principles through examples, case studies and best practices, thus helping the development of the sustainable sukuk market. The guidance also includes data from LSEG reflecting the current state of the sustainable sukuk market, which has now seen over $47 billion in issuance since 2017, with $13.4 billion issued in 2023 – a 42% increase from the previous year.

The guidance confirms the wide applicability of the Principles across the global sukuk market and helps ensure that the market continues to develop with high standards and integrity.

Announcing the launch of the guidance, Bryan Pascoe, Chief Executive of ICMA said: "Today’s launch marks a critical step in establishing and maintaining globally consistent standards in the key growth segments of sustainable finance and Islamic finance. We believe the guidance is an important building block for further 'scaling-up' of sustainable finance instruments, including sustainable sukuk, to help plug the massive climate funding gap, as well as raise finance for other environmental and social goals."

H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, President of IsDB stated, “This industry initiative is another milestone achievement that demystifies the Sukuk asset class, defines sustainable sukuk and demonstrates their alignment with the ICMA Principles. This is crucial to expand the sukuk market, attract more investors and unleash more capital towards the SDGs.”

Julia Hoggett, CEO of the London Stock Exchange, added: “This initiative, announced at COP28, was crafted through consultations with key stakeholders in the sustainable bond and sukuk markets, including leading issuers, investors, underwriters, and law firms. The guidance confirms the wide applicability of the ICMA Principles and that all project categories and themes for use-of-proceeds bonds, such as gender, blue and transition, are consistent with Shar’iah investing.”

ICMA, IsDB and LSEG intend to engage with a broader set of stakeholders on the guidance in the coming months, including Sha’riah boards, regulators, rating agencies, non-profit organisations and other market participants to ensure that the guidance is embedded across various markets. Further updates to the guidance may be made once this is completed.

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