ESG Disclosure Best Practice for Municipal Bonds

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© Wes Hicks

In the U.S. the Government Finance Officers Association (“GFOA”) recommends that governments evaluate the development and disclosure of information regarding the primary environmental risks applicable to municipal issuers and their bonds in their preliminary and final official statements used in connection with bond sales and in other voluntary disclosure.

Governments should also disclose plans developed, strategies deployed, actions taken, and infrastructure built to address the environmental risks, which will vary depending on the geographical location of the issuer.

Governments play an important role in that overall assessment by providing specifics about their ESG challenges and action plans and in doing so, increasing transparency to the entire municipal market. ESG disclosure provides governments the opportunity to tell their story of what they are facing and how they are addressing the issues, a point of view that is valuable to the broader municipal market.

Municipal bonds serve as a vehicle for “impact investments” and many investors want more information on the impact their investments can have.

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