The International Finance Corporation, the private
sector arm of the World Bank Group, welcomes the announcement by
EKF, the Danish Export Credit Agency, that it has joined 21 leading commercial
banks in adopting the Equator Principles. In taking this step, EKF becomes
the first export credit agency to take a leadership role on global
environmental and social issues.
The Equator Principles are a voluntary set of guidelines for managing social
and environmental issues related to the financing of development projects
and are based on the policies and guidelines of the International Finance
Corporation. Launched by ten banks in June 2003, the principles have
been adopted to date by ABN Amro, Bank of America, Barclays, CIBC, Citigroup,
Credit Suisse Group, Credit Lyonnais, Dexia, Dresdner Bank, HSBC, HVB Group,
KBC, ING, Mediocredito Centrale, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Rabobank, Royal
Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered, WestLB, and
Westpac. Together these banks arranged
nearly 80 percent of the project loan
syndication market worldwide in 2003, according to Dealogic.
“IFC is very pleased that EKF has formally
adopted the Equator Principles. It is the first export credit agency to
do so. This helps create convergence around a single set of environmental
and social standards for project finance, simplifies the approach for sponsors,
and provides further validation of our environmental policies and procedures,”
said Peter Woicke, IFC’s executive vice president.
EKF works closely with Danish exporters, project sponsors, banks, and buyers
to help Danish exporters of capital equipment and project-related goods
and services to win business and invest overseas. In adopting the Equator
Principles, they are undertaking to provide export credit support only
to projects whose sponsors can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the agency
their ability and willingness to comply with comprehensive processes for
ensuring that projects are developed in a socially responsible manner and
according to sound environmental management practices.
More information on the Equator Principles is available at:
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing 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 FY03, IFC has committed more than $37
billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.