DZ Bank AG adopts the Equator Principles

Frankfurt, 01 January 2013

On 1 January 2013 DZ BANK AG recognised the Equator Principles, which provide a global standard for project finance, thus documenting that it is prepared to develop its core business in a sustainable manner. Having signed up to the Equator Principles, DZ BANK AG will in the future apply these guidelines world-wide to all new project finance transactions with a volume in excess of USD 10 million. “By deciding to sign up to the Equator Principles we clearly demonstrate to our customers and to society as a whole just what strict social and ecological criteria we comply with when financing projects. We do this for reasons of risk provisioning as well as out of responsibility for society,” said Wolfgang Kirsch, Chief Executive Officer of DZ BANK.

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Increasing scrutiny of environmental and human rights impacts of large scale infrastructure projects

17 December 2012 –  Charles Russell, Malcolm Dowden

Large scale infrastructure projects in the UK and around the world are under increasingly close scrutiny from campaigning NGOs and ethical investment indices concerned with their environmental and human rights impacts. Those increased levels of scrutiny and activism are finding legal expression, including court proceedings just launched by Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands in respect of Shell's activities in Nigeria, and the 2006 International Court of Justice ruling in respect of the Fray Bentos pulp mill in Uruguay.  NGOs are also pressing for more rigorous and meaningful enforcement of the environmental and human rights elements of the 'Equator Principles' (EPs), which are currently being updated and extended. In particular, NGOs are seeking to highlight the limited effectiveness and inadequate implementation of grievance mechanisms – intended to hear, address and resolve community complaints without requiring expensive recourse to formal judicial proceedings. Read More.

Ecosystem Services: Flying or Crawling in 2013?

13 December 2012 - Environmental Leader

The next phase of ecosystem services will affect companies’ decision making and public policy — but how that plays out remains to be seen, according to a BSR blog. Last January, companies seeking financing from the World Bank and other Equator Principles signatories became subject to due diligence processes that examine corporate impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services — the benefits provided by functioning ecosystems. Read More.

How will ecosystem services affect corporate decision-making?

12 December 2012 - Green Biz, Sissel Waage

In January 2012, a potentially significant shift occurred for corporate decision-makers: Companies seeking financing from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, as well as from 76 global banks that signed on to the Equator Principles, became subject to due diligence processes that examine corporate impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services. This occurred even as more than 16 national and regional governments continued to focus on ways to integrate ecosystem services into public policy. With small-scale exploratory work underway for several years, corporate applications covered the spectrum - from integration of ecosystem services into accounting to consideration of the issues as an element in risk-management and impact-assessment protocols. Read More.

Banco Pine S.A. adopts the Equator Principles

São Paulo, 07 December 2012

PINE, a wholesale bank specializing in maintaining long-term relationships with large companies and investors, hereby announces its adoption of the Equator Principles. PINE is the first and only Brazilian mid-sized bank to adopt such principles.

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The Equator Principles Association hosts 2012 Annual Meeting and first Equator Principles Workshop

3 - 4 December 2012, Washington DC, USA

Nearly 100 individuals, representing 54 financial institutions, attended the 2012 Equator Principles (EP) Association Annual Meeting on 3 December in Washington DC. The meeting included further consideration of the feedback received during the EP III 60 day Stakeholder Consultation and Public Comment process and discussions to finalise the EP III Draft. Key thematic areas including Scope, Climate Change, Social Risks, and Reporting and Transparency were reviewed further and the process for finalising the EP III Draft in Q1 of 2013 and subsequent launch and implementation of EP III were discussed.

Additional to the Annual Meeting, EP Association Members gathered for the first time to discuss EP implementation and best practice. The full day EP Workshop, held on 4 December, was focused on knowledge and experience sharing on a variety of core topics including categorisation, justified deviation, independent consultants, covenants, monitoring, information sharing, and reporting and transparency. EP Association Members found the day extremely positive and have committed to repeating the workshop on an annual basis.

Finding Principles That Fit

22 November 2012 - Environmental Finance, Suellen Lazarus

The leading Equator Principles banks face huge challenges in reaching consensus on the latest reforms to the financing standards. Their proposals have much to commend them – but there is room to go further, says Suellen Lazarus. The steering committee guiding the redrafting of the Equator Principles (EPs) has faced a daunting task. With limited resources, under conflicting pressure from both inside and outside the group, and dealing with some of the world’s most complex environmental challenges, the EP Association has demonstrated finesse in negotiating the third iteration of the principles. Read More.

Finding Principles That Fit

22 November 2012 - Environmental Finance, Suellen Lazarus

The leading Equator Principles banks face huge challenges in reaching consensus on the latest reforms to the financing standards. Their proposals have much to commend them – but there is room to go further, says Suellen Lazarus. The steering committee guiding the redrafting of the Equator Principles (EPs) has faced a daunting task. With limited resources, under conflicting pressure from both inside and outside the group, and dealing with some of the world’s most complex environmental challenges, the EP Association has demonstrated finesse in negotiating the third iteration of the principles. Read More.

Finding Principles That Fit

22 November 2012 - Environmental Finance, Suellen Lazarus

The leading Equator Principles banks face huge challenges in reaching consensus on the latest reforms to the financing standards. Their proposals have much to commend them – but there is room to go further, says Suellen Lazarus. The steering committee guiding the redrafting of the Equator Principles (EPs) has faced a daunting task. With limited resources, under conflicting pressure from both inside and outside the group, and dealing with some of the world’s most complex environmental challenges, the EP Association has demonstrated finesse in negotiating the third iteration of the principles. Read More.

Sustainable finance: how far have the Equator Principles gone?

15 November 2012 - The Guardian, Oliver Balch

"Sustainable finance" finds itself very much in vogue these days. That wasn't the case ten years ago. Back then, bankers, insurers and investment folk wore suits, talked numbers, struck deals – and left worrying about the outside world to others. Today's shift in attitudes can arguably be dated back to early June 2003, when 10 international banks pledged to start applying social and environmental criteria to their lending. This wasn't your usual eco-banking small fry. The club included many of the big hitters of the day: Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Rabobank, among others. Binding them all together was a set of rules and guidance documents that they called the Equator Principles. The banks behind the principles set two strict parameters right from the start. Read More.