CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

Second opinions on green bonds

CICERO second opinions are independent, research-based evaluations of green bond investment frameworks to determine their environmental robustness.

CICERO is the leading global provider of Second Opinions on green bond frameworks. We provided the Second Opinion for the first green bond issued by the World Bank and have completed over 70 Second Opinions for multinationals, corporate and municipalities across the world. Through the years, we have developed a scalable and flexible solution to provide environmental due diligence in a rapidly growing green bond market.

CICERO's second opinion was a key part of the green bond model developed for the first World Bank Green Bond together with SEB in 2008, which has helped the market diversify with integrity.

Heike reichelt, Head of Investor Relations and New Products at the World Bank

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Our methodology

CICERO Second Opinions build on our renowned climate research. We provide independent environmental assessments of the green bond framework and the issuer’s relevant internal governance procedures.

We apply a tailored approach trying to shift the bond market towards greener investments and improved transparency without creating undue transaction costs on the financial sector.

Our Second Opinions are desk reviews, based on documentation provided by the issuer and information gathered during meetings, teleconferences and e-mail correspondence with the issuer.

CICERO provides an ex-ante assessment based on knowledge that is available at the time of issuance.

The process of getting a CICERO Second Opinion on a green bond framework


CICERO Shades of Green

In 2015, we introduced the Shades of Green methodology, which expresses how well a green bond aligns with a low-carbon climate resilient future. Our Second Opinions are graded light green, medium green and dark green.


What’s considered green is different for everyone. Our investors need to be comfortable ... reaching out to CICERO is a great first step.



Global reach

CICERO works with both international and domestic issuers, drawing on the global expertise of the Expert Network on Second Opinions (ENSO) to broaden the technical, language and regional expertise.

The ENSO network consists of independent non-profit research institutions specialising in climate change, environment and society. ENSO members currently include the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and Tsinghua University’s Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy.

CICERO Second Opinions received several international awards. The Climate Bonds Initiative awarded CICERO for being the biggest second opinion provider in 2016, while investors selected us as the Best External Review Provider for the Environmental Finance Green Bond Awards in both 2017 and 2018.