Banks v the Banks as Call Grows for Ethical Investments

Edinburgh - 30 November 2009 - The Scotsman, Craig Brown

SCOTS author Iain Banks has joined MPs and church leaders in accusing the government of failing to push banks to adopt ethical investments. In a letter to the Chancellor, the group said the Treasury had not used influence gained through last year's government bail-out to force Royal Bank of Scotland to support such investments. Read more

The Equator Principles : A Brief Overview

London - 12 December 2008 - Corporate Eye Newsletter 

Talking about business sustainability without mentioning money is a bit like a spot the ball competition. You know it’s there, an essential part of what’s going on, but spotting it can be very difficult indeed. This is where the Equator Principles (EP) come in; a set of benchmarks put together to bring a sense of sustainability to business financing.

The initiative was created in 2003 by the leading banks of the day, including Barclays, Citibank and ABN Amro. It uses the policies of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as its foundation. They apply to all projects which financial institutions may engage in with financing of over $10m. This includes both direct lending by the banks and financial consultancy.

In addition, the working groups which govern the principles are not wholly focussed upon the banks. They include representatives of NGOs, Socially Responsible Investment analysts and the banks’ client base. Inevitably this means that the banks and their clients complain that the principles go too far while the NGOs complain that they don’t go far enough. This is good and it is heartening to see both sides engaging with one another and feeling able to air their views freely. Read more  

Equator principles for St. Maarten?

St. Maarten - 07 November 2008 - EcoCarib

We should not forget that the banks have made a lot of money, also in St. Maarten while they were conscious of the lack of control by our government but nevertheless financed projects without ever thinking about the sustainability of the projects which makes them also responsible for part of the problems of the island.

Sixty-three financial institutions from twenty-five countries have adopted the Equator Principles. These financial institutions operate in over 100 countries. As a result, the Equator Principles have become the project finance industry standard for addressing environmental and social issues in project financing globally. Now we have to push our local banks to adopt these guidelines but even better to make our own tailored set of guidelines for St. Maarten. Read more

 

The Equator Principles: A Toddler Finds its Feet, but Still Takes an Occasional Tumble

UK - 14 November 2007, Tony Webb, Ethical Corp

In four years the Equator Principles have made real progress, but according to critics, still suffer from a lack of clarity and definition, particularly regarding climate change.

The Equator Principles, a four-year-old initiative set up by big banks to consider the social and environmental impacts of global project finance, now regulate more than 85% of this niche market, according to the EPs’ statistics. Read more   

 

The Revised Equator Principles

01 September 2006 - New York Law Journal, Stephen L. Kass and Jean McCarrol from Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP

On July 6, 2006, 41 of the world's largest financial institutions released a revised set of the "Equator Principles," the much-anticipated new version of voluntary standards originally adopted in June 2003 by the Equator Principle Financial Institutions (EPFIs) as a benchmark for environmental and social responsibility in project financing, particularly in developing countries.

The revised Equator Principles are intended to complement the new "Sustainability Policies" of the International Finance Corp. (IFC), the World Bank affiliate that took the lead in encouraging an initial group of 21 EPFIs to launch the original Equator Principles. Read more 

 

Revised Equator Principles

29 August 2006 - IM International Mining

Underscoring the global application of environmental and social risk management, the Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) have launched the revised Equator Principles. The institutions say 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.

The revised principles reflect the experience of the 40 financial institutions around the world that currently apply the Principles. The principles also reflect the recent revisions to the International Finance Corps (IFC) Performance Standards, upon which the Equator Principles are in part based. In developing these changes, the EPFIs actively involved clients, civil society groups and official development agencies, all of whom provided constructive and valuable feedback that the PFIs reviewed and considered in the revision process. Read more 

 

The Equator Principles: A Call to Action

London - November 2004 - London Bullion Market Association, Gerard Holden

I hope that many of you reading this article will have heard of the Equator Principles. But for those who have not – and who haven’t had the misfortune of sitting through one of my speeches at yet another conference in some delightful tropical location – the Equator Principles are a series of guidelines designed to help financial institutions manage environmental and social issues in mining. Originally adopted in April 2003 by four institutions – ABN Amro, Barclays, Citibank and WestLB – the list of financial institutions adopting the Equator Principles now totals 27. Editorial Comment by Gerard Holden, Managing Director, Mining & Metals, Barclays Capital. Read more 

 

EIB Subscribes to the Equator Principles for Projects Outside the European Union

Luxembourg - 28 May 2004

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is a public institution driven by the policy objectives of the European Union (EU). The Bank finances projects that protect and improve the natural and built environment and promote social well-being in the interests of sustainable development. The EIB takes a proactive approach to lending for the environment, guided by European Union environmental policies, some of the strictest and best developed in the World. In its activities, as an EU body, the Bank works closely with other EU institutions.

The EIB finances projects that help directly to improve and protect the environment. When financing other kinds of investment, the Bank supports action that minimizes any adverse environmental impacts. By applying EU environmental policies as its benchmark, the Bank’s approach to safeguarding the environment is at least equivalent to international good practice, such as the “Equator Principles” (2003). Approved by the Board of Directors, 5 May 2004.

 

BG Group Endorses the Equator Principles

Reading, UK - 2 July 2003 - GB Group

BG Group of the UK, a leading sponsor of projects, has endorsed the adoption of Equator Principles by banks. Craig Cowley, Head of Structured Finance of BG Group, in a letter to the adopting banks, said that BG Group believes that "the Principles will make a valuable contribution in encouraging good quality environmental and social management of projects." He also said that BG Group welcomes "financial institutions adhering to a common standard in respect of environmental and social issues when providing finance."