Financial Institutions Announce Revision of Equator Principles Underscoring the Global Application of Environmental and Social Risk Management

London - 06 July 2006

The Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) today announced the launch of the revised Equator Principles. The revision underscores how far the financial sector has progressed in embedding in the project finance arena a common set of best practices to manage social and environmental risks related to project financing.

Read more...

EPFIs Review of Equator Principles

08 June 2006

During March-May 2006, the Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) have engaged in a substantive review of the Equator Principles (EPs). As previously announced, the revisions to the existing EPs are being undertaken to 1) reflect implementation learning from the past 2 ½ years, 2) incorporate comments from various stakeholders received during this period, and 3) to ensure incorporation of, and consistency with, the IFC Performance Standards. The engagement and review process included outreach to key stakeholders (including clients, NGOs and various Official Agencies) on the proposed revisions. The engagement process was also extended to facilitate receipt of feedback from all stakeholder groups. The review process has now concluded, and EPFIs have considered comments received during this period. The EPFIs are now considering the final draft of the revised Principles and conducting their internal approval processes to re-adopt the EPs. The EPFI aim to make the new revised Principles publicly available via this website on July 6, 2006 – this shall also be the effective date for this new set of Equator Principles.

 

IFC Launches Web-based Private Sector Guide to Biodiversity

IFC Launches Web-based Private Sector Guide to Biodiversity - Why biodiversity matters and how it creates business value

The International Finance Corporation launched a Web-based guide to help companies understand and address biodiversty as part of their core business practice. With a focus on emerging markets, the guide provides guidance at the strategic and operating (implementation) levels, drawing on case studies from IFC's own portfolio.

Read more...

IFC Adopts New Environmental and Social Standards

Washington D.C. - 21 February 2006

The Board of Directors of the International Finance Corporation adopted today new environmental and social standards for the organization. The new standards build upon the environmental and social requirements that IFC currently applies to private sector projects it finances in the developing world. A new policy on disclosure, adopted at the same time, will increase transparency requirements.

Read more...

Good Practice on Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

Washington D.C. - February 2006

IFC’s Good Practice Note on “Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity," the latest in a series of publications providing how-to guidance and good practice examples to private sector clients on a variety of social and environmental topics. The Note seeks to help IFC clients and the wider private sector with the challenges of eliminating discriminatory workplace practices and promoting workforce diversity in accordance with international standards and best practices.

Read more...

IFC's Good Practice Note on Managing Retrenchment

Washington D.C. - October 2005

Whether it is the pursuit of new markets or the desire to improve performance or productivity, companies must periodically review and adjust their business plans and processes. The injection of new capital, changes in ownership, or changing economic circumstances can often lead to reorganization and restructuring within a company. It is not uncommon for job losses to result, and in some cases it may be the only way for a company to move forward and thrive. Loss of employment may be caused by a range of factors from technological change to privatization to total closure of a workplace.

Full text of IFC's Good Practice Note on Managing Retrenchment (pdf - 334k)

 

Wells Fargo & Company Announces 10-Point Environmental Commitment, $1 Billion Lending Target

San Francisco — 11 July 2005

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced a 10-point Environmental Commitment to more effectively integrate environmental responsibility into its business practices and procedures.

“We want to be a leader in this important area of corporate citizenship especially in processes and procedures for considering environmental issues in our commercial and business practices,” said Mary Wenzel, the Company’s vice president of environmental affairs. “This commitment to ourselves and our stakeholders shows we’re serious. We want to make sure Wells Fargo and our more than 80 businesses and 151,000 team members are committed to being environmentally responsible stewards in every community in which we do business.”

Read more...

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Publishes Report on the Equator Principles

London - 11 July 2005

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, a leading international law firm, has published Part 1 of its report on the Equator Principles, “Banking on Responsibility”. Part 1 of the report focuses on the effect that the Equator Principles have had on Equator Banks and non Equator Banks involved with project finance transactions. Part 2 of the report, which is expected to be released later this year, will focus on the effect of the Equator Principles on consultants and sponsors of projects. “Banking on Responsibility” sets out the findings of a survey conducted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and lists a number of recommendations about how the implementation of the Equator Principles could be improved in the future. It also addresses a number of key issues such as the reasons for and against adopting the Equator Principles. In “Banking on Responsibility”, the Equator Principles are described as a “shining beacon for responsible banking”.

The report has been well received. The Full text of “Banking on Responsibility” is available at http://www.freshfields.com/publications/pdfs/practices/12057.pdf

 

Financial Institutions Hold Third Consultation With IFC on the Safeguard Policy Review

Paris - 10 May 2005

16 financial institutions which have adopted the Equator Principles met with representatives of IFC in Paris on 20 April 2005. The meeting was hosted by Calyon. The financial institutions discussed with IFC their comments on the proposed Performance Standards which have been drafted by the IFC and which are intended to replace the Safeguard Policies on which the Equator Principles are based. IFC's consultation period ended on 29 April 2005 and the IFC will now redraft the Performance Standards taking into account comments received from stakeholders.

 

Financial Institutions Meet with NGOs in Zurich

Zurich - 28 March 2005

Eighteen financial institutions which have adopted the Equator Principles met in Zurich on 4 February 2005 with 17 NGOs interested in how these institutions are implementing the Equator Principles. Credit Suisse hosted the meeting. The agenda was built around topics including NGO involvement, disclosure and reporting, and the Equator Principles' website which were identified at a prior meeting held between financial institutions and NGOs in London in July 2004. A financial institution/NGO working group had discussed these issues prior to the meeting. In addition, a financial institution presented an overview of the life cycle of a project finance transaction, illustrating when financial institutions typically become involved. Finally, at the request of the NGOs, a consultant to several of them presented NGO views on the IFC's proposed Performance Standards which will replace the Safeguard Policies on which the Equator Principles are based. At the conclusion of the meeting, the financial institution representatives and the NGO representatives agreed on a list of next steps. One of the priorities for the next few months will be participation with the IFC as it develops the Performance Standards. The financial institutions and NGOs agreed to continue constructive dialogue on these issues of mutual interest, including exploring ways the NGOs can engage directly with the IFC and ways the IFC can encourage this.