Submitted by: International Finance Corporation
Categories: Business Ethics
Posted: Jul 18, 2006 – 11:00 PM EST
Washington, D.C. - The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today launched its new Sustainability Web Portal (http://www.ifc.org/sustainability). Responding to growing stakeholder interest, the portal connects visitors to IFC's full range of sustainability products and services and explains the business case for sustainability - economic, financial, environmental, social, and related to corporate governance - with success stories from emerging markets.
"As a global development institution, we have an important role in implementing, innovating, and showcasing sustainability solutions," said Rachel Kyte, Director of IFC's Environment and Social Development Department. "Our sustainability knowledge and experience is an important public good, and we are committed to finding ways to make more information available and provide it in more accessible formats online. We believe the new Sustainability Web Portal will help us achieve this goal."
Tailored to the needs of key stakeholders, the sections of the portal include:
Using examples from emerging markets, IFC's new portal presents the business case for sustainability, showing how the Corporation has helped companies strengthen their businesses. For example, in 2005, IFC invested $30 million in a polyvinyl chloride factory in India for the plant's expansion and an environmental upgrade that will enable the company to provide its plastic to the Indian market in a more cost-efficient and sustainable way. In another instance, IFC's support on corporate governance helped Romania's Banca Comerciala Romana carry out one of the most successful privatizations of a bank to date.
The portal also makes it easy to find information on IFC's innovative business models. For example, earlier this year, IFC invested in a utility company and a bank in China, creating a new financing model that will reduce energy consumption and pollution. This new approach is expected to generate $150 million in energy efficiency projects over six years, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5 to 10 million tons.
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. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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