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.

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  10. Banking on Sustainability: Is the Financial Sector Doing Enough?
  11. International Business Obligations: Review of project financing principles
  12. The Revised Equator Principles Call on Companies to Seek Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. Next up Governments
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  14. Equator Principles get an overhaul
  15. Revised Draft Equator Principles (EP III) Released For Stakeholder Consultation And Public Comment
  16. Third Time Lucky for the Equator Principles?
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  18. Equator Principles group unveil new green investment guidelines
  19. Proposed revisions to the Equator Principles focus on human rights
  20. Updated Equator Principles released for public comment
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  22. The Equator Principles (EP III) draft released
  23. SRI and finance - Equator Principles are updated to expand their scope and depth
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  26. Are Equator Principles Still Relevant after Rio+20 and UN PRI?
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  28. Equator Principles and Nigeria’s Financial Industry
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  30. Private Equity Investors Should Look to Environmental and Social Sustainability
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