Water investments at the heart of the new Dutch Sovereign Green Bond; the Dutch State Treasury Agency announces the new Green DSL to be issued on 17 October 2023

Today, the Dutch State Treasury Agency (DSTA) announces the auction date for the new 20-year Green Dutch State Loan (DSL). Alongside this announcement, the updated Green Bond Framework has been published, with a particular focus on water investments such as the Dutch Delta Fund (“blue expenditures”). The expenditures for these specific investments have been mapped against the amendments to the EU Taxonomy which were released this June. Of all twelve eligible economic activities in the Framework, eleven meet all of the required technical screening criteria, while all economic activities meet the substantial contribution criteria. The new Green DSL is the first triple-A sovereign issuance to have “blue” activities fully mapped to the EU Taxonomy.

Auction of new 20-year green bond on 17 October 2023

The new 20-year green DSL will be auctioned by means of a Dutch Direct Auction (DDA) on 17 October 2023. In its Outlook 2023, the DSTA already announced that it would issue a new 20-year green bond. The DSTA later on indicated that the window for launching this bond would be the fourth quarter of 2023.

By launching this new 20-year Green DSL, the State of the Netherlands demonstrates its commitment to support and to further develop a robust domestic and international green capital market. Prior to the auction on 17 October 2023, the Dutch State Treasury Agency (DSTA) plans to meet with potential institutional investors to present its updated Green Bond Framework.

Second Party Opinion obtained from Moody’s

The DSTA appointed Moody’s for an external review of the Green Bond Framework. The Second Party Opinion provided by Moody’s assigns a Sustainable Quality Score of “Very good” (SQS 2) to the Framework and considers it to be aligned with the four core components of the Green Bond Principles version 2021 (with June 2022 Appendix). According to Moody’s, the Framework demonstrates a high overall contribution to sustainability. In addition, based upon information provided by the DSTA, Moody’s considers eleven out of the twelve economic activities to adhere to all EU taxonomy criteria relating to both substantial contribution and do-no-significant-harm (DNSH). For the economic activity where this was not fully possible, it is considered that all criteria are adhered to the EU taxonomy, except for the pollution prevention control and DNSH criterion.

Please refer to the full second party opinion report for further details as well as a description of the methodology used. The report is available on the website of the DSTA.

Details regarding the updated Green Bond Framework

The DSTA has updated its Green Bond Framework in order to demonstrate adherence to the existing EU Taxonomy, whilst also incorporating adherence to the amendments and additions to the EU Taxonomy that were adopted by the European Commission on 13 June 2023.

The new green bond will cover all expenditures outlined in the Green Bond Framework, fulfilling the substantial contribution criteria of the EU Taxonomy as a minimum. As the new additions to the EU Taxonomy contain –amongst others- criteria for Flood risk prevention and Nature-based solutions for flood risk prevention, the DSTA was able to fully map the Delta Fund expenditures against Taxonomy criteria. Even though these criteria are not yet formally in force, by aligning this Framework to these, the Netherlands emphasises its commitments to protect its citizens.

In addition to the “blue expenditures” also expenditures related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transportation are covered under the Green Bond Framework.

Auction details

Today, the DSTA announces the characteristics for the issuance of this new 20-year green bond. The auction date, maturity date, reference bond and target volume are as follows:

Auction date

Tuesday 17 October 2023, start 10:00 CET

Maturity date

15 January 2044

Reference bond

DBR 2.5% July 2044

Target volume

€ 4.0 to € 5.0 billion


Aim to price on the auction date, but no later than 12:00 CET on
18 October 2023

Settlement date

Two days after the issuance price is set


To be announced on Friday 14 October 2023

Initial spread guidance

To be announced on Monday 16 October 2023

The DSTA expects this auction to take place via a Dutch Direct Auction (DDA). As always, the DSTA reserves the right to change the auction method or date of the auction should circumstances warrant this. Specific to the DDA is the direct placement of debt with end-investors. During the DDA, investors can place their bids via one or more Primary Dealers.

On the issue date of the DDA, 17 October 2023, the book opens at 10:00 CET and closes at 17:00 CET at the latest. The allocation will be announced as soon as possible after the closing of the book. The pricing will occur at the earliest 30 minutes after allocation and no later than 12:00 CET on the following day. The DSTA aims to price on the auction date itself. More information on the DDA auction methodology can be found on www.english.dsta.nl.