City announces new Sustainable Debenture Framework

Published on
February 28, 2024
Business, economy and innovation

In support of the City’s ongoing commitment to advancing a more sustainable, resilient and liveable future, a new Sustainable Debenture Framework has been developed. Eligible green and/or social projects will now be able to be financed or refinanced under the updated framework.

The framework includes updated eligibility criteria for its green use of proceeds categories along with new social use of proceeds categories, including:

  • Affordable basic infrastructure
  • Capital assets to provide access to essential services
  • Social and affordable housing assets
  • Capital assets contributing to socioeconomic advancement and empowerment

The City of Ottawa was the first Canadian municipality to issue a Green Bond in November 2017, and has since issued four Green Bonds totaling over $1 billion. Building on the Green Debenture Framework, the City has developed an updated Sustainable Debenture Framework under which it may issue green, social and sustainability debentures. The new framework is a key element in support of the City’s 2023-2026 City Strategic Plan, which aims to make the City more prosperous, sustainable, inclusive and resilient.

The framework was developed in alignment with current best practices and in close consultation with advisory partners, BMO Financial Group and RBC Capital Markets. The City of Ottawa also obtained an independent second-party opinion, which is available on


“Implementing sustainable frameworks move us closer to a greener, more resilient and livable future that helps our future generations thrive. The City of Ottawa continues to lead in the Canadian municipal green bond market. And today I reiterate Council’s commitment to promote our green and sustainable efforts. The Sustainable Debenture Framework allows us to finance and refinance eligible green and social projects, aligning our investments with the principles of sustainability and community well-being.”

Mayor Mark Sutcliffe

“Under this framework, we will be able to finance capital projects that have green, social or a combination of green and social benefits. The amount of these projects continues to rise, and now we will be able to have a clear view to the projected environmental and social impacts that will result from them.”   

Councillor Shawn Menard, Chair of Environment and Climate Change Committee

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About the City of Ottawa

The City of Ottawa is the National Capital of Canada. It is the fourth largest city in Canada and the second largest in the Province of Ontario. Although Ottawa is recognized for being the epicentre of the federal government and bustling downtown core, it is also known for its beautiful countryside and other rural attractions. The City of Ottawa spans across 2,796 square kilometres which is larger than the cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal combined, and is a blend of urban, suburban and rural communities.

Sustainability is at the core of the City’s operations which span family and social services, health and public safety, recreation and culture, arts and heritage, parks, roads and travel, garbage and recycling, urban planning, and economic development. As a municipal government, the City of Ottawa is responsible for public programs and services that over one million residents rely on every day, and many projects funded by the City seek to advance social, green or both objectives. The City became the first Canadian municipality to issue a Green Bond in November 2017, and has since issued four Green Bonds totaling over $1 billion.