The Signatories encourage robust implementation of the Equator Principles across all EPFIs
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The Equator Principles (EP) Association launched its first ever Strategy at its Annual General Meeting in October 2020. This high-level statement sets out the direction of travel for the Equator Principles over the next few years and demonstrates the collective willingness of Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) to continually improve.
The Strategy guides the program of work and enable EPFIs and wider stakeholders to have a clear understanding of where the Equator Principles is headed and, as such, where to focus its attention and resources. The Strategy is aspirational and ambitious and, most importantly, is supported each year by tangible actions.
“We, the Equator Principles Financial Institutions, believe that the financial sector has a critical role and responsibility in tackling the environmental and social challenges facing the world today. We have adopted the Equator Principles to have a positive impact on the projects we finance.
Our ambition is for the Equator Principles to grow and evolve such that one day all projects globally are financed sustainably under this framework.
As the world around us changes we recognise we must keep pace. We will actively strengthen our network through partnerships and collaborations, as well as expanding our membership and encouraging participation from all stakeholders that support the financial services ecosystem.
Our community is open and diverse.
We recognise that the principles can only be truly effective when they are consistently and robustly applied. Continuous training and development are key to maintaining standards and we will provide tools, materials and support to our members. We will enhance our reporting and disclosure requirements and strengthen our governance and accountability processes.
We must continue to work collaboratively and dynamically to manage impacts to climate, people and biodiversity.
Our vision is clear: The Equator Principles must be the authoritative environmental and social risk management framework across the financial services industry.”
Governance and Management
The Equator Principles (EP) Association was the unincorporated association of member Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) whose object was the management, administration and development of the Equator Principles. Formed on 1 July 2010, the EP Association was instituted to ensure long-term viability and ease of management of the member EPFIs.
As of 1 January 2024 the Equator Principles Association was replaced by a new legal structure and the Equator Principles are now legally represented by Equator Principles Limited.
The Equator Principles are still governed by a Steering Committee, which is supported by the Office of the Equator Principles. Contracting on behalf of the Equator Principles is carried out by Equator Principles Limited. The governance structure is illustrated below.
Equator Principles Steering Committee
The Steering Committee co-ordinates management and development of the Equator Principles on behalf of the Signatories to the Equator Principles. The Steering Committee is elected by the Signatories to the Equator Principles.
Current members of the EP Steering Committee (as from November 2023) are listed below.
Office of the Equator Principles
In May 2023, the Steering Committee appointed the Equator Principles’ first CEO, Max Griffin. As CEO, Max is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of the Equator Principles, on behalf of the Steering Committee, and will deliver key initiatives set in the annual work plan including:
- supporting the Chair and Steering Committee on governance, management structure and other strategic management issues;
- technical leadership for the development and provision of guidance for the Equator Principles;
- engaging and overseeing the work of third-party service providers and consultants;
- reviewing prospective EPFIs and implementation of recent joiners;
- supporting on external relations with various supranational bodies, regulators and CSOs, as required;
- identifying opportunities for the Equator Principles to engage and influence wider E&S sector initiatives, and providing input, as appropriate.
Max Griffin, EP CEO
The EP Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of the Equator Principles and provides a wide variety of services to the Signatories, Steering Committee and Chair, and CEO. These include:
- managing internal and external communications (including the EP website);
- organisation and facilitation of EP events;
- management of the Signatory application process;
- oversight of all EPFI reporting; and
- governance support to the EP Working Groups and Steering Committee.
The EP Secretariat is provided by re:Sure Ltd (UK) through a service agreement. The Secretariat comprises 2.5 FTE across 4 part-time team members, located in South America, Europe and Asia.
Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) are required to pay an Annual Fee to cover costs incurred in the management, administration and development of the Equator Principles. The budget is voted upon by EPFIs each year, including the Annual Fee.
Financial institutions who wish to become an EPFI are required to pay an Application Fee, in addition to the Annual Fee. If a financial institution adopts part way through the financial year the Annual Fee amount is pro-rated.
In 2024, the Annual Fee is £7,000. Please contact the Office of the EPs for more information on the Application Fee.
In addition to working closely with individual EPFIs, the Equator Principles has developed partnerships and collaborations with key organisations and initiatives:
International Finance Corporation (IFC) & World Bank
The Equator Principles are based on the IFC’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. In February 2020 the Equator Principles and the IFC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining the collaboration’s key tenet – to expand existing training and capacity building on Performance Standards.
Some supporting resources for Equator Principles practitioners are below:
Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI)
The CSBI is a partnership between IPIECA, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the Equator Principles, for developing and sharing good practice related to biodiversity in the extractive industries. Affiliated members include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The Chair rotates each year and is supported by the EP Biodiversity Working Group.
The CSBI is a unique collaborative platform for convening the collective knowledge and expertise of practitioners working across the three participating sectors: finance, oil and gas and mining.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
GBIF have worked with the EP Biodiversity Working Group to produce simple guidance that enables EFPIs and their clients to comply with EP4 requirements on sharing of biodiversity data.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The Equator Principles endorsed and provided input into an OECD document that provides an overview of good practice for Environmental and Social Agents.