Markets working to support sustainable development

Central America

Ceres Coalition and Principles

The Ceres Coalition of investors, environmental organisations and other public interest groups states it’s mission as: ‘Integrating sustainability into capital markets for the health of the planet and people’. The coalition includes many Fortune 500 companies and is involved in improving the dialogue between multiple stakeholders through engagement and disclosure.

Responsible Care

Responsible Care is a voluntary initiative in the chemical industry which ‘commits companies to work together to continuously improve the health, safety and environmental performance of their products and processes’.

It is managed by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) which is a membership organisation made up of national associations. Each of the national associations are responsible for implementing the principles of Responsible Care in their countries. 

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Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy

The Roundtable for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy (RSCE) ‘is an initiative for dialogue and sustainability amongst all stakeholders in the cocoa economy.' Members of the RSCE include national members of the ICCO and representatives from industry and civil society.

Members work together to set and implement objectives that are designed to make the cocoa industry sustainable. The objectives are: 

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The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)

Members of Ethical Trading Intiative (EITI) have to adopt the Base Code for ethical trading and sign up to the Principles of Implementation – these require a company to demonstrate its commitment to ethical trade, to integrate ethical trade into core business activities and drive year-on-year improvements. In addition they should support suppliers through training and capacity building and should report on their activities openly and accurately.

The ETI Base Code Principles are that:

The EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Process in Developing Countries

As part of the FLEGT process, the EU establishes bilateral Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with developing countries to guarantee that wood exported to the EU is legal. In addition, the VPA supports partner countries in improving their own regulation and forest governance procedures.

The VPAs includes 3 main elements: 

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The OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) declaration is a policy commitment by member governments to: improve the investment climate; encourage Multi National Enterprises (MNEs) contributions to social and economic development; and minimise and resolve difficulties from their operations. The guidelines are supported by a network of National Contact Points (NCP's), agencies established to help governments adhere to the guidelines.

IFC Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability

The International Finance Corporation (the private sector investment body of the World Bank) has developed a set of Performance Standards to review the suitability of projects for direct financing. If a project is not expected to meet the standards over a ‘reasonable period of time’ then the IFC will not provide finance.

There are also several types of activity that the IFC does not finance e.g. production/trade of weapons, alcohol, tobacco, illegal products or activities.The Performance Standards are based on 8 areas:

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Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

The EITI seeks to set a global standard for transparency in oil, gas and mining and is applicable to national governments. The EITI has a number of principles and indicators that are predominantly centred on improving transparency and accountability in the extractive industries.

The EITI maintains the EITI standard, which was updated in May 2013. Countries implement the EITI Standard to ensure full disclosure of taxes and other payments made by producing oil, gas and mining companies. These payments are disclosed in an annual EITI Report. 

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