Standard Bank becomes first African bank to chair Equator Principles Association

1 June 2015, Johannesburg

Standard Bank has been appointed the new chair of the Equator Principles Association for 2015/16, making it the first African Bank to be elected to this position.

The appointment, which takes effect on the 1 June 2015, comes at a critical juncture in the integration of environmental and social considerations within business as a component of responsible investing.

Standard Bank’s Executive & Head of Environmental and Social Advisory within Investment Banking, Nigel Beck, will be the bank’s lead representative and chair. Mr Beck says that while the world is aware there is a need for change, there is not a meeting of the minds on how this is to be achieved.

The Equator Principles (EP) is a step in this direction requiring project financing, advisory and project related corporate loans to meet consistent international standards from an environmental and social perspective. This is partially the reason the major drivers of global environmental, social and climate change is coming from the 80 Equator Principles Financial Institutions in 35 countries who have officially adopted the EP. These Financial Institutions cover the majority of international project finance debt within developed and emerging markets.

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Cathay United Bank is the first bank in Taiwan to adopt the Equator Principles

Taipei, 23 March 2015

Cathay United Bank (CUB) becomes the first Taiwanese bank to join the Equator Principles (EP) Association. CUB is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Financial Holding Company (Cathay FHC), the largest financial holding company in Taiwan. By adopting the Principles, CUB has declared its commitment to the assessment and management of social and environmental risks and impacts in its credit process.

“’Sustainability’ is a widely discussed topic among corporations and is also a commitment that a company makes in its pursuit of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The underlying connotation of corporate sustainability encourages corporations to embrace environmental, social, and governance issues as a strategic tool to modify corporate management system and operation model while seeking profits,” stated by Tsu-Pei Chen, Chairman of CUB.

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Shawn D. Miller – In Memoriam

21 November 2014

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the recent death of Shawn D. Miller, Managing Director & Global Head of Environmental and Social Risk Management at Citigroup. We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our colleagues, an Equator Principles pioneer and friend to many.

Shawn had a deep commitment to the Equator Principles. He was a driving force in developing and promoting the Equator Principles, encouraging financial institutions to join the initiative, and ensuring the views of the members were heard and considered. He was instrumental in the development of the second and third iterations of the Equator Principles (II and III) and provided exceptional leadership when he represented Citigroup as Chair of the Equator Principles Association Steering Committee from 2010-2012. His achievements and contributions have, and will continue to have, an immeasurable impact on the Equator Principles Association.

His work inspired and influenced many in the banking community, an ardent advocate for environmental responsibility and human rights. Determined to play his part in making the finance sector more sustainable, he worked tirelessly and closely with colleagues, peers, clients and communities.

He was a true leader in his field, highly respected by his peers and all who worked with him. Passionate and principled, and at the same time pragmatic and thoughtful in his approach to his work, Shawn was the consummate professional, who had a palpable energy, positivity and warmth.

Many of us will also remember him for the friendship he offered. He was always willing to support others, share his knowledge, and provide guidance and advice. His contribution and positive spirit will remain with us in memoriam.

Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences go to his family and close colleagues.

 

The Equator Principles Association Hosts 2014 Annual Meeting And Equator Principles Workshop In Cape Town

28 & 29 October 2014

Nearly 70 individuals, representing 43 financial institutions, attended the 2014 Equator Principles (EP) Association Annual Meeting and Workshop on 28 and 29 October 2014 in Cape Town. The meeting was a unique opportunity for the EP Association to engage financial institutions in Africa and underlined its commitment to discussing environmental and social risk management in a regional context.

Following the success of the 2013 Workshop, Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) met on the 29 October to discuss the implementation of EP (including Project-Related Corporate Loans, the use of Action Pans, GHG reporting, alternative analysis), topics related to project affected communities, EPFI reporting requirements, and other pertinent environmental and social matters.

NEW - Publication of the Equator Principles (June 2013) Implementation Note

21 July 2014

The Equator Principles Association is pleased to share a new document Equator Principles (June 2013) Implementation Note’ with external stakeholders and other interested parties. The document, written by EPFIs, contains selected information and examples to support the understanding of the requirements in, and implementation of, the Equator Principles.

Ryosuke Ueda, Head of Sustainable Development Department, Mizuho Bank and Chair of the Equator Principles Association Steering Committee commented,

“With the introduction of new requirements and the expansion of scope to Project-Related Corporate Loans and Bridge Loans, the Equator Principles Association wanted to provide further support to both Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) and external stakeholders on understanding the Equator Principles. Whilst every financing is unique and the document cannot cover every scenario, it is hoped that the publication of the document will help clarify, and provide insight on, some of the key aspects of the Equator Principles. The Equator Principles Association is committed to building capacity internally and externally and as such the document will continue to be developed over time to reflect the experience of EPFIs, clients and stakeholders, and in response to other changes affecting implementation (e.g. regulatory developments, technological advances).”

The document comprises a series of modules containing information to support the implementation of the requirements contained in the Equator Principles on scope, climate change (Principle 2 and Annex A of the Equator Principles) and reporting (Principle 5, 10 and Annex B of the Equator Principles). The document does not intend to establish new principles or requirements, and as every project is different (i.e. in nature, scale, risks and impacts) and each EPFI makes implementation decisions based on its institution’s policy, practice and procedures, its content may not be relevant/applicable in every case. If an EPFI or stakeholder has any doubt about an Equator Principles requirement, it should always refer to relevant principle in the Equator Principles (dated June 2013).

It should be noted that the information and examples are provided without guarantee of any kind, either express or implied, including, without limitation, guarantees as to fitness for a specific purpose, non-infringement, accuracy or completeness. The Equator Principles Association shall not be liable under any circumstances for how or for what purpose users apply the information, and users maintain sole responsibility and risk for its use. No rights can be derived from this publication.

The Equator Principles Association welcomes feedback and input on the document, therefore please send your comments or questions to the Equator Principles Association Secretariat at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

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Further useful Guidance Notes can be found on the Best Practice and Resources page

Eksportkreditt Norge Adopts the Equator Principles

Oslo, 27 June 2014

Eksportkreditt Norge AS (Export Credit Norway) is joining the international initiative to safeguard environmental and social conditions and is adopting the Equator Principles on June 27th 2014.

Export Credit Norway is following many of its business partners in adopting the Equator Principles, formed to ensure responsibility and sustainability in financing of international projects.

"Many of the international banks we work closely with have adopted the Equator Principles, and the initiative has contributed in raising awareness on social and environmental issues. We therefore see it as a natural step for us to join the initiative," CEO of Export Credit Norway, Jarle Roth says.

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia Adopts the Equator Principles

Sydney, 26 May 2014

On 26 May 2014 Commonwealth Bank became a signatory to the Equator Principles. The Equator Principles are a voluntary set of guidelines to assess and manage environmental and social risks in project finance.

The Equator Principles have evolved over time. The third iteration, Equator Principles III, reflects the latest developments in environmental and social risk management practices and associated governance around compliance.

By adopting the Equator Principles III, we further build on our commitment to responsible lending and formalise reporting of our environmental and social risk practices.

For further information go to the Commonwealth Bank website.

Human Rights: The Next Frontier

15 April 2014 - MIT Sloan Management Review - Olivier Jaeggi

The Guiding Principles have already influenced many standards and guidelines relevant to businesses. The most important of these include the OECD Guidelines briefly discussed above, the Renewed EU Strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility, including the related action plans of the EU member states, and — primarily relevant in the context of public or private infrastructure construction projects — the latest release of the Equator Principles. Read More.

Mizuho will Assume the Chair of the Equator Principles Association

First Asian Bank to Hold the Chair Position

27 March 2014

Mizuho Bank, Ltd. (MHBK; Yasuhiro Sato, President and CEO) will take on the role of Chair of the Equator Principles Association (EPA) from 1st May. This is the first time an Asian bank has been appointed as the EPA Chair. The EPA is an association of 79 global financial institutions that adopt the Equator Principles (EPs), supporting sound and responsible project development with environmental and social consideration.

The EPs are a risk management framework adopted by EP financial institutions (EPFIs) for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in large-scale infrastructure or industrial projects when providing finance. These are a set of voluntary standards under which EPFIs request certain actions from the borrower to ensure the project is executed in an environmentally and socially sound manner.

First launched by US and European financial institutions in June 2003, the EPs are now a global standard for conducting large-scale development projects, adopted by 79 of the major banks around the world. In October 2003, Mizuho Bank (formerly Mizuho Corporate Bank) became the first Asian bank to adopt the EPs, in order to fulfill its responsibilities as an international bank with global operational presence.

In recent years, large natural resource development and infrastructure projects have been embarked upon in emerging countries including in Asia. On the other hand, the institutional framework to manage environmental and social aspects is still in the process of developing in these regions. MHBK has been leading the EPA’s EP Outreach Working Group in Asia since August 2010, concentrating on communicating with the local governments and banks to expand and deepen their understanding of the EPs.

Helping the institutions build E&S risk management capacity through seminars, hosting of trainees, etc., MHBK’s efforts have been instrumental in having initial member banks from China and India adopt the EPs.

MHBK is firmly committed to play a leadership role among EPFIs as the first Asian Chair to pursue the sustainable economic development of emerging markets in Asia and all around the world by taking advantage of its long experience in executing EP-based project finance.

For further information go to: http://www.mizuhobank.com/index.html

UPDATED - Guidance for EPFIs on Incorporating Environmental and Social Considerations into Loan Documentation

12 March 2014

Following the launch of the Equator Principles (EP) III in June 2013 and end of the EP III transition period, the EP Association has updated its guidance document for Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) on incorporating environmental and social considerations in to loan documentation.

The Guidance for EPFIs on Incorporating Environmental and Social Considerations into Loan Documentation, originally published in 2009, has been revised to reflect the new language and extended scope of EP III, and now includes specific clauses on Independent Environmental and Social Consultant Reviews and reporting requirements for borrowers.

Note the guidance document is for use by EPFIs to assist them in incorporating environmental and social considerations into loan documentation (as appropriate) and is not a required legal framework.

Further resources can be found on the Best Practice and Resources page.