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IFC and AccountAbility to Help Emerging Market Companies Become CSR Leaders

Submitted by: International Finance Corporation

Categories: Socially Responsible Investing, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Oct 16, 2008 – 11:55 AM EST

 

WASHINGTON D.C. - October 16, 2008 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a partnership with AccountAbility to develop a unique corporate management system that will help companies based in emerging markets strengthen their businesses through corporate social responsibility.

The new system will enable firms to build corporate-level strategies that support business development and link performance in social responsibility to quality, productivity, and efficiency.
The main components are:

  • an integrated diagnostic process to quickly assess and plan according to key risks, business assets, and priority needs.

  • a CSR Performance Excellence management framework that helps managers tie corporate social responsibility to business activities such as procurement, marketing, and product design.
Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services, said, "Our experience is that CSR will truly impact company behavior only when it is directly linked to core business practices. In a time of uncertainty in the markets, businesses stand to gain even more from good environmental, social, and governance practices. This partnership will provide our clients with a system that guides them step by step on how to align their CSR efforts with their core business priorities and competencies—while communicating their efforts to shareholders."

Steve Rochlin, Head of AccountAbility North America, said "IFC's leadership as a sustainability standard-setter and its global reach make it an ideal channel for CSR expertise. We see this partnership as a way to bring the cutting-edge practices and experiences of leading international companies to companies in emerging markets that are ready to leap ahead of the curve and achieve real business value."

As part of a new IFC advisory service on CSR, the partnership will develop and test tools in key markets such as Brazil, China, and India. It also aims to enable investors and other stakeholders to better assess corporate performance through innovative approaches to analyzing environmental, social, and governance aspects.

The partnership with Accountability adds leverage to IFC's efforts to help companies proactively manage their environmental and social impacts and seek out business opportunities linked to sustainability. A growing number of companies in emerging markets are turning to CSR to address their own particular social and environmental challenges. They are discovering that CSR maximizes business value because it is an avenue for product innovation and a way to differentiate their business.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About AccountAbility
AccountAbility is a global non-profit network with representatives in London, Washington, Beijing, Geneva, Sao Paulo, and San Francisco. It was established in 1995 to promote accountability innovations that advance sustainable development. AccountAbility works with business, government, and civil society organizations to advance responsible business practices and the governance of collaborations between public and private institutions. For more information, visit www.accountability21.net

For more information, please contact:

Katia Theriault International Finance Corporation
Phone: 202-458-9704
Aris Vrettos AccountAbility
Phone: +44 (0) 207 549 0400

For more from this organization:

International Finance Corporation

 

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