Banorte adopts the Equator Principles

Mexico City, 12 March 2012

It is with great pride that Banorte "El Banco Fuerte de Mexico" - the strong bank of Mexico and the nation’s third largest, announces its adoption of the Equator Principles today, Monday March 12, 2012.  This makes Banorte the second bank in Mexico to become a signatory.

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CIBanco, first Mexican Bank to adopt the Equator Principles

Mexico City, 7 March 2012

CIBanco S.A. is the first Mexican bank to adopt the Equator Principles, and has committed to the assessment and management of social and environmental risks and impacts in its credit process. The Equator Principles is a framework for determining environmental and social risks in project finance transactions.

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Aterios Capital Adopts the Equator Principles

Lagos, 1 March 2012

Aterios Capital, a young financial services company, has formally adopted the Equator Principles. Launched in June 2003, the Equator Principles commit financial institutions to ensure that the projects they finance promote socially responsible development and reflect sound environmental management practices.

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The Equator Principles are being updated: under “EP III” process

20 February 2012 - Forest Peoples Programme

Principle 3 provides the ‘Applicable Social and Environmental Standards’ which are supposed to be implemented according to the requirements of the remaining 9 principles. The Applicable Social and Environmental Standards are the Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) plus other relevant Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines, although ‘justified deviation’ from these standards is permitted. In August 2011, the IFC Board adopted a revised set of Performance Standards and, in late 2011, the Equator Principles Association adopted these revised IFC Performance Standards in their entirety into the Applicable Social & Environmental Standards, Principle 3, of the Equator Principles. This incorporation became effective on 1 January, 2012. Read More.

Banking Industry in China: More regulations for being socially responsible

15 February 2012 - CSR Asia, Brian Ho

Since the second half of 2011 there have been various news reports about the difficulties for companies, especially small and medium sized enterprises, to receive business loans in China due to a tightening of bank policy. Some banks have been criticised for increasing the interest rates through different measures and causing SMEs in China to go for usurious loans. There are some cases where business people have committed suicide or have become “runaway bosses” as they cannot repay the business loan. However, when comparing the banking industry with other industries, profit in the financial sector is maintained at high level. Criticism about the social responsibility of banks, especially state-owned ones, has appeared in mainstream media and the public has come to the consensus that banks should be more socially responsible and support those companies and local economies that need help. CSR has become an important agenda for the banking industry. Read More.

Banco do Brasil to host Biodiversity for Banks workshop in São Paulo

20 January 2012

Banco do Brasil will host the second Biodiversity for Banks (B4B) workshop on 22 and 23 March 2012.  The Equator Principles Association, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program launched the pioneering training program in late October 2011 to help banks incorporate the value of nature into their lending decisions. More than 20 banks from 15 countries met in late October at the WWF headquarters in Washington D.C. as part of an inaugural training workshop. Now the B4B program hits the road with the next stop being São Paulo, Brazil.

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Important Update on the Progress and Timeline of the EP III Update Process

The EP Association is continuing internal discussions with its members on the first draft of EP III and as a result the overall timeline for the EP III Update process has been extended.

Please see below a summary of the new timeline*:

  • EP Association consultation period and initial drafting of the EP III (September 2011 - March 2012).
  • Formal  60 day (minimum) Stakeholder Consultation and Public Comment Process (March - April 2012).
  • Finalisation and launch of the EP III framework (May - July 2012).

*The timeline might be subject to further extension if deemed necessary.

The EP Association would like re-emphasise that it is committed to carrying out a robust and consultative process therefore appreciates the patience of stakeholders and look forwards sharing the first draft of EP III with stakeholders in early Spring.

The EP Association will aim to be open and transparent during the EP III Update process, and we welcome feedback and comments from any interested party on both process and substance. If you have not already joined the EP Association mailing list you can register your interest here.

Ecobank Applies Equator Principles to its Pan-African Project Finance Activities

Lomé, 1 January 2012

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the parent company of the Ecobank Group, announces its adoption of the Equator Principles, the industry standard for financial institutions active in project finance. Ecobank will apply the principles to project finance activities in all relevant sectors and across all of the 30 countries in Middle Africa in which it operates. 

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Sustainability Conference in Seoul

10 December 2011 - Prizma Blog

Prizma’s Bill Kennedy was recently invited to participate at the 6th Sustainability Management Conference in Seoul, Korea.  The focus of the event, sponsored by the Korean Standards Association and the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, was an examination of the IFC Performance Standards, the Equator Principles and OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the way in which companies and banks have been responding to them.  Read More.

Non-compliance with equator principles: Constraint to obtaining finance for energy projects

8 December 2011 - Business Day Online, Ayodele Oni

The Equator Principles represent a credit risk management framework for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk for transactions requiring Project Finance. Project finance on the other hand, is a means of funding in which the lender or financier looks primarily to the revenues generated a project, as opposed to the balance sheet, both as the source of repayment and as security for the exposure. Project Finance, plays an important role in financing energy projects and infrastructural development throughout the world. This financing method, is usually for large, complex and expensive installations, infrastructure and structures and would include, for example, power plants, chemical processing plants, mines, transportation infrastructure such as trains and telecommunications infrastructure. Read More.