Submitted by: International Finance Corporation
Categories: Business Ethics
Posted: Apr 24, 2006 – 12:00 AM EST
"IFC is a sustainability standard setter for the financial community. Major banks apply our environmental and social standards. As such, it is important that we 'walk the talk,'" said Lars Thunell, IFC's Executive Vice President. "We are responding to the global warming crisis by investing directly in energy efficiency and renewable energy, but also by identifying opportunities for sustainable energy in our mainstream projects."
According to the report, IFC is also pioneering new business models in other areas. For example, through its carbon finance work, IFC will facilitate the trade of 40-50 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emission reductions in the next three years under the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, IFC is developing products that will allow businesses to attract a higher premium for their carbon credits in the global carbon market.
The report also highlights the new environmental and social standards that IFC adopted in February 2006. These standards clearly state IFC's requirements and explain how they apply to client companies. They add new requirements related to integrated social and environmental assessments, core labor standards, greenhouse gas emissions, and community health and safety. In fiscal year 2005, 70 percent of clients surveyed said IFC adds value to their businesses through knowledge and support in good corporate governance, as well as social and environmental sustainability.
A new feature in the report, "An Anatomy of a Project," details how IFC worked with a producer of polyvinyl chloride in India to upgrade its environmental performance. It shows step-by-step how sustainability and development goals are integrated into decision-making throughout the IFC investment cycle. This feature responds to shareholders' demand for more information about how IFC brings sustainability into its relationships with clients.
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
To download the report or order printed copies, visit http://www.ifc.org/SustainabilityReport
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