Equator banks to update project finance standards by March 2012

19 July 2011 - Environmental Finance News

A new version of the voluntary Equator Principles, which set environmental and social standards for project finance, is to be published in March 2012. The Equator Principles Association, which governs the application of the principles by 72 banks and financial institutions, said yesterday it is beginning internal discussions on a range of possible changes. Subjects up for discussion include: the scope of the principles, reporting and transparency, governance issues including membership criteria, and stakeholder engagement during the update process. Read More.

Will the Equator Principles soon apply to corporate loans?

16 July 2011 - Norton Rose

The Equator Principles are a set of principles designed to ensure that projects are developed in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Financial institutions can voluntarily agree to adhere to the Equator Principles, and by doing so, agree to apply them to all new project financings with total project capital costs of US $10 million or more. Each financial institution which signs up to the Equator Principles (an EPFI) agrees to report publicly each year on its implementation and experience. Each EPFI interprets and implements the Equator Principles differently, which has led to inconsistent application. As a result, the scope of the Equator Principles may be widened. At present, there is no official sanction for non-compliance with the Equator Principles (other than public de-listing as an EPFI for failure to report annually or non-payment of annual fees). However, if an EPFI invests in projects which are not perceived to be environmentally or socially sound, it can risk significant damage to its reputation. Read More.

The Equator Principles Association Announces the Commencement of the EP III Update Process

18 July 2011

Following the conclusion of the IFC Performance Standards Update and Review process, the Equator Principles (EP) Strategic Review process and public release of the Executive Summary and Appendix of the EP Strategic Review consultant report and associated EP Association Summary Response on 24 May 2011 , the EP Association has initiated internal discussions on key thematic areas including:

  • Scope of the EPs.
  • Reporting and transparency.
  • Governance issues, including membership criteria.
  • Stakeholder engagement during the EP III Update process (including industry and clients, peer financial institutions, and civil society organisations).

Read more...

Equator Principles: Signatories consider a wider use of rules

London - 15 June 2011 - The Financial Times, Sarah Murray

An oil pipeline project promising everything from employment to ecosystem degradation is the kind of development that, since 2003, has been covered by Equator Principles, the voluntary set of social and environmental standards governing project finance lending. Read More.

Nominees on the Bank of the Year shortlist

London - 15 June 2011 - The Financial Times

These descriptions of institutions nominated for the FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards are based on information provided by them ahead of the awards dinner in London. The 2011 Sustainable Bank of the Year award recognises the bank that has shown excellence in creating environmental, social and financial value across its operations. Read More.

Interview: IFC’s Lars Thunell on standards and expansion

London - 15 June 2011 - The Financial Times, Sarah Murray

When in 2006, the International Finance Corporation devised a set of social and environmental standards to govern its lending activities, some said these would limit the IFC’s capacity to expand. With a record $18bn in new investments in 2010, these people “have been proved completely wrong”, says Lars Thunell, the institution’s Swedish-born executive vice-president and chief executive. Read More.

Without uniform, reliable rules, CSR reports will be read with a grain of salt

London - 15 June 2011 - The Financial Times, Mark Wembridge

Over the past decade, the publication of corporate citizenship and social responsibility reports has become an important tool for companies to bolster their reputations. Read More.

FPIC – a Tool for Preventing and Managing Corporate Community Tensions

Asia - 01 June 2011 - CSR Asia, Michelle Brown

On May 11th the International Finance Corporation (IFC’s) board of directors approved the updated Sustainability Framework which had been undergoing an extensive review and consultation process over the last year and a half. The Framework consists of the Performance Standards, the Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability and the Access to Information Policy.  Read More

Equator Principles need toughening up – report

26 May 2011 - Environmental Finance, Jess McCabe

The voluntary standards covering the environmental and social (E&S) impacts of project financing should be toughened and expanded, a key report on the future of the Equator Principles has recommended. Read More.

Public Release: Equator Principles Strategic Review Consultant Report and Equator Principles Association Summary Response

24 May 2011

The Equator Principles  (EP) Association is pleased to announce the conclusion of the Equator Principles Strategic Review Process with the public release of the Executive Summary and Appendix of the Equator Principles (EP) Strategic Review consultant report and associated EP Association Summary Response.

Read more...