Guernsey: How To Earn The Green ‘Kitemark'

Last Updated: 21 October 2018
Article by Dominic Wheatley
Most Read Contributor in Guernsey, September 2019

Guernsey's Green Fund Rules offer a framework to combine financial return with environmental benefit, writes Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance.

Addressing climate change and global warming and attempting to meet the requirements of the 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals has now become a global challenge.

Part of that challenge is finding the money to address these issues. In response, the development of green finance is creating a growing international market of sustainable investments, enabling investors to combine financial return with environmental benefit.

The market is growing, but it is recognised that it needs to accelerate to meet global targets. The numbers required to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by world leaders in 2015, are huge, with an estimated $2.5 trillion annual funding gap.

With much of that money likely to be required from private investors, creating standardised financial tools to encourage this investment is seen as key. The potential is enormous, as currently only a small fraction of global funding is connected with the "green" sector – mostly in the form of bonds.

Against this background, earlier this summer the Guernsey regulator launched the Guernsey Green Fund, in what is being seen as a significant move aimed at going some way to resolving the funding issue, and moving the island along the way to becoming the "go to" global finance centre for green finance.

Over the past few months key figures in the development of the island's financial services sector have been working with the Guernsey Financial Services Commission on progressing the product and have also been looking to develop the relationship with the UK's green finance sector.

The Green Fund Rules offer a framework upon which international green investments can be encouraged and facilitated in the island, effectively creating a kitemark for green funds. It is intended that this will go some way towards addressing the issue of investor confidence in the authenticity of green funds, which, it is believed, is currently holding back investment in that space. Retail investors are said to be looking for the comfort of labels and standards.

Under the new rules, which have been welcomed positively by the Guernsey funds industry, three-quarters of a green fund's assets by value must meet specified green criteria invested in certain defined areas. The rules use standards developed by international financial institutions with the appropriate scientific background to ensure that the various assets held in a GGF are green within the true meaning of the word.

Any type of fund can apply to be a green fund in Guernsey and, under the guiding rules and principles, will have to invest in areas such as renewable energy, lower carbon and efficient energy generation, energy efficiency, agriculture and forestry, waste and waste water and transport. The island already has several cleantech funds established.

Action in the field of green builds on Guernsey's strengths and expertise in private equity and infrastructure, supports other initiatives in areas such as impact investing, and is linked to a general repositioning of the island's financial services offer towards a greater focus on more ethical investment, and altruistically-motivated investing for private clients and institutional investors.

Guernsey as an island is also seeking to play its part in developing its environmental credentials and green-friendly policies, with increasing focus and investment in solar energy, electric vehicles and reducing carbon footprint in energy use.  

The Green Fund development has been welcomed by Michael Mainelli, chairman and co-founder of the think tank Z/Yen, which has listed Guernsey as an "emerging global contender" in its inaugural Green Global Finance Centres Index.

"I am encouraged to hear about Guernsey bringing out green fund regulation," he told the pro-sustainability podcast Planet Pod. "We are seeing regulators begin to pay attention and I hope that's picked up."

The GFSC has also announced plans to work with the global insurance industry to enable long-term green investments to be taken on as assets to meet long-term life insurance liabilities.

The initiative seeks to make it easier for insurance companies to access long-term investments that in turn will make it easier for insurance companies to offer sustainable long-term returns to policyholders, and to widen the pool of purchasers for green investments.

New proposals on sustainable finance and the Capital Markets Union were published in May by the European Commission, furthering Guernsey's prospects in presenting opportunities for investment through the Channel Islands. Europe has been talking about, among other issues in the green sector, carbon stress tests, integration of sustainable criteria and the development of a green finance mark and a green bonds standard.

I am confident that the green fund will place Guernsey at the forefront of the initiative to mitigate the risks associated with climate change and promote engagement in climate change issues. Guernsey's reputation in this area, and the breadth of our funds expertise, positions us perfectly for this emerging sector.

Guernsey market developments

A route to avoid Brexit uncertainty

Guernsey has positioned itself as a way for private equity fund managers to avoid uncertainty brought about by Brexit. It has this year promoted its global distribution capabilities to reach institutional investors in more than 50 jurisdictions, across five continents, representing more than 80% of the world economy.

NPPR works for Guernsey

NPPR has provided a proven, smarter and faster route to access European investors, Guernsey has said, after the process to secure a European passport was derailed by Brexit. The island has seen a number of significant and well-supported alternative investment fund launches in the past couple of years, and leading funds lawyers in the island say that the EU AIFM Directive has not held Guernsey managers back.

Private Investment Fund

The Private Investment Fund was launched in Guernsey in 2016, as a category of fund where management have a closer-than-typical relationship with investors. A PIF, which can be closed- or open-ended, has no more than 50 investors, but, unlike competitor products, no limit has been prescribed to how many it may be marketed to. The take up of the new product is growing, with 2018 to the end of August outstripping the total year figures for 2017.

Guernsey by numbers

Guernsey funds under management and administration are now at a five-year high of £276.2 billion. The value of private equity business structured in Guernsey topped £100 billion at the end of 2016 and now has a net asset value of £112 billion as at June 2018.

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions