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