Minimum Standards for Social Pfandbriefe

Pfandbrief Banks under the umbrella of vdp have drawn up minimum standards for Social Pfandbriefe and published them in March 2021. As of 2020, the vdp has central responsibility for administering trademark rights to the “Social Pfandbrief” product for and on behalf of its member institutions. The initiative follows on from the minimum standards for Green Pfandbriefe and is intended to give further impetus to the market for sustainable Pfandbriefe and serve as a guide for potential new issuers and investors.

The minimum standards build on the ICMA's Social Bond Principles, contain transparency requirements and call for an external assessment and impact reporting. The proceeds of the issue may only be used for the (re-)financing of eligible assets, which in turn must serve a social added value. Based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), these include in particular:

  • Financially sustainable basic infrastructure (e.g. clean drinking water, sanitation, transport, energy);  
  • Access to basic social services (e.g. health care, education and vocational training);
  • Affordable housing;
  • Job creation, including through SME financing and micro-credit;
  • Food security;
  • socio-economic development and empowerment.

The standards reflect the current state of the discussion and are intended to be reviewed regularly and adapted according to any market or regulatory developments.