Paris, 4 February 2020
Building on nearly two decades of collaboration, The Equator Principles Association (EPA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) today announced they are officially joining efforts to help strengthen the capacity of financial institutions to manage environmental and social risk in line with IFC’s Environmental and Social Performance Standards.
IFC’s Performance Standards are the most comprehensive and practical approach to managing environmental and social risks for private investments in emerging markets, and are considered an international benchmark. The Equator Principles, launched in 2003 and now adopted by 101 financial institutions from 38 countries, were based on IFC’s Performance Standards. The principles provide a framework for financial institutions to manage environmental and social risk in projects. Over the years, the Equator Principles signatories have drawn from IFC’s extensive technical resources and have worked closely with IFC to develop practitioner knowledge on environmental and social risk management.
Today, at a coordination meeting, the EPA and IFC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), outlining the collaboration’s key tenet – to expand existing training and capacity building on Performance Standards.
At the MOU signing in Paris, alongside the OECD Financial Institutions Practitioners Workshop, Chair of the Equator Principles Amit Puri of Standard Chartered, noted:
“The EPA has for many years benefited from the considerable effort the IFC has invested in developing and updating the industry leading Performance Standards and associated guidance. With more than 100 members in the EPA comprised of commercial banks, development banks and export credit agencies in all of IFC’s regional markets, we are proud to be formalising efforts with the IFC to develop capacity building and training on these benchmark standards. Our objective is to ensure that all EPA members apply the Performance Standards and related technical resources – which capture invaluable and critical insights from numerous practitioners and experts around the world – with the rigour and consistency with which they are intended and spread good practice amongst financial institutions wherever feasible.”
Mary Peschka Porter, IFC’s Director of the Environment, Social & Governance (ESG), commented that:
“The rapid adoption of the Equator Principles over the past 16 years demonstrates the clear ambition of the global financial community to promote environmental and social standards and accelerate sustainability efforts. Seizing this momentum is critical – particularly in emerging markets where embedding sustainable finance in the practices of local financial institutions can prove challenging. Through our formalized collaboration, IFC and EPA can more systematically bridge the technical gaps in ESG knowledge that remain in project diligence and portfolio management, helping strengthen the capacity of financial institutions and build sustainable financial markets.”
Following the MOU signing, a joint work plan will be developed and implemented over the coming years.
For EPA – Primary Contact: Jessica Smith
Telephone: +44 7882 286140
For IFC – Primary Contact: Kathryn Graczyk
Telephone: +1 202 473 3822
The Equator Principles (EPs) is a risk management framework, adopted by financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects and is primarily intended to provide a minimum standard for due diligence and monitoring to support responsible risk decision-making. The fourth version of the Principles was released in November 2019 with an effective date of 1 July 2020: https://equator-principles.com/ep4/.
The Equator Principles (EPs) Association is the unincorporated association of member Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) whose object is the management, administration and development of the EPs. Its Capacity Building and Training Working Group is co-led by ING and Banco Santander.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org