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Environmental and social due dilligence

Environmental and social due diligence

Since the mid-1990s, Members have been sharing information on their policies, practices and experiences with regard to addressing environmental and, more recently, social issues when providing officially supported export credits. The result of these discussions has been a series of agreements and OECD Recommendations relating to measures that Members should take in order to address the potential environmental and social impacts of projects for which official export credit support is requested.

The current agreement is the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence (the “Common Approaches”), which was adopted on 28 June 2012 and revised by the OECD Council on 6 April 2016 (OECD/LEGAL/0393). This agreement sets common approaches for undertaking environmental and social due diligence to identify, consider and address the potential environmental and social impacts and risks relating to applications for officially supported export credits as an integral part of Members’ decision-making and risk management systems. While an OECD Recommendation is not legally binding, it expresses the common position or will of the whole OECD memberships, and therefore may entail important political commitment for Member governments.

Monitoring of the Common Approaches

The Recommendation on Common Approaches is monitored through:

  • periodic surveys on Members’ policies and practices relating to environmental and social due diligence; and
  • information provided by Members for all projects supported that had a potentially high or medium negative environmental or social impact (known as Category A and Category B projects).

In addition, Members are required to publish information on how their ECA implements the Common Approaches, together with information on the Category A projects under consideration and the Category A and Category B projects supported in any one year.

Operational guidance

International standards

Members are expected to benchmark projects against international standards as part of their environmental and social due diligence, such as:

Other relevant websites

Environmental and social due diligence surveys

ECG Members have agreed to share publicly their environmental and social due diligence practices and policies by responding to a Survey. Members’ responses to the Survey are updated when changes occur within their export credits systems that impact their implementation of the Common Approaches.

Stakeholders are invited to provide comments on the measures that Members have taken to address potential environmental and social impacts: such comments are included within the Secretariat’s subsequent Review of Members’ Survey responses. These Reviews are part of the on-going monitoring of the implementation of the Common Approaches and are also made publicly available.

Pursuant to the 2016 Recommendation:

Pursuant to the 2012 Recommendation:

Pursuant to the 2007 Recommendation:

Pursuant to the 2003 Recommendation:

Category A and category B projects

ECG Members are required to provide information on projects for which official support has been provided that have a potentially high (Category A projects) or medium (Category B projects) negative social or environmental impact. These reports are then assessed by the Secretariat and made publicly available on this website.

  • Access links to ECA Websites (for more information on their environmental and social practices as well as the lists of Category A projects under consideration or and of Category A and Category B projects already supported).

Information notified by Members on Category A and Category B Projects

Pursuant to the 2012 Recommendation:

Pursuant to the 2007 Recommendation:

Pursuant to the 2003 Recommendation:

 

Technical work being done by Members’ environmental and social experts

The ECG discussions on addressing the potential environmental and social impacts of projects have been informed for many years by technical work undertaken by the environmental and social experts (the "Practitioners") working in ECAs. The Practitioners meet regularly to discuss the implementation of the prevailing Common Approaches, share experiences of project due diligence and agree on proposals for amendments to the Common Approaches that might be forwarded to the ECG for agreement. Due to the project-based nature of the Practitioners’ discussions, details of their meetings are confidential; however, they are currently developing some Guidance Notes to inform the application of the 2016 version of the Common Approaches. In addition, they meet regularly with environmental experts from other financial institutions to discuss issues of mutual interest, such as the application of international standards.

Guidance Notes

The aim of the Guidance Note on Good Practice in the use of Consultants by Export Credit Agencies is to provide a compilation of good practices in the use of environmental and social consultancy services by ECAs. Its aim is not to replace, modify or supersede any relevant policies or processes that ECAs may have developed, or may develop in the future, for procuring and managing such services. Accordingly, this Guidance Note should not be considered as a standard or as a required action list, but as a tool to be used by ECAs as appropriate and at their own discretion. It is also important to note that other actions may be appropriate on a project-by-project and ECA-by-ECA basis.

This Guidance Note has been developed in the framework of technical work undertaken by Practitioners relating to the application of the Recommendation of the Council on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence; it may, however, be used by any ECA (or any party acting on an ECA's behalf) wishing to follow good practices when using environmental and social consultancy services.

Workshops for Practitioners of ECAs and other Financial Institutions

Export Credit Agencies and other Financial Institutions are increasingly concerned about the potential environmental and social (E&S) impacts of the projects that they support, either commercially or for developmental purposes. As a result, such institutions are, either individually or within groups of same-type institutions, developing appropriate policies and standards to address such impacts.
These Workshops are an opportunity for E&S specialists from all types of financial institutions to meet, share experiences and explore E&S issues with a view to improving due diligence techniques and promoting a consistent approach to addressing E&S impacts. It is open to environmental and social specialists from all types of financial institutions (export credit agencies, Equator Principles Financial Institutions, commercial banks, development institutions, etc.).

Agendas of Previous Workshops

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