Journal article

Understanding the role of green bonds in advancing sustainability

  • Maltais, A. and Nykvist, B. (2020). Understanding the role of green bonds in advancing sustainability. Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment. 1–20.

  • Authors: Maltais Aaron and Björn Nykvist

  • Topics and subtopics: Incentives, Impacts

  • Category: Journal article

  • Country: Sweden

Green bonds are one of the most prominent innovations in sustainable finance of the past decade. However, to date the few academic studies on green bonds have tended to focus on what impact green labels have on bond yields.

This article is one of the first empirical studies designed to address the broader questions of what attracts investors and issuers to the green bond market, the role of green bonds in shifting capital to more sustainable economic activity, and how green bonds impact the way organizations work with sustainability.

Using Sweden as a case study, this paper provides insights into the rapid growth of the green bond market and how green bonds affect market participants’ engagement with sustainability that are easily missed if one focuses only on how green bonds are marketed.


Aaron Maltais is a Research Fellow at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and is co-research director at the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre.
Aaron Maltais
SSFC Program Director
Dr. Björn Nykvist is a Research Fellow at SEI. He has conducted interdisciplinary research on sustainability, climate change, and governance of energy, transport and natural resources since joining SEI in 2005.
Björn Nykvist
SEI Research Fellow