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 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.
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 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.
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:
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.
The UN Global Compact (GC) was launched in July 2000 and is a commitment by companies to incorporating environment and development principles within their business structures. Open to any company, The UN Global Compact is a ‘practical framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices’.
Financial Institutions that sign the Equator Principles (EPFIs) can ensure that the projects they fund are developed in a way that pays attention to social and environmental issues.
The Principles are global and they can be applied across all industry sectors through four financial products - these are: project finance advisory services; project finance; project related corporate loans; and bridge loans. Projects must have total project capital costs of USD 10 million or more.
Equator Principles III
The Principles on Resposible Investment (PRI) are designed to provide a framework for investors to consider issues around the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that can affect investment portfolios. They were launched by UN Secretary-General in April 2006 at New York Stock Exchange and state:
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) aims to certify that rough diamonds have not been sold to fund conflicts, i.e. that they are not ‘conflict’ or ‘blood’ diamonds. The KPCS entered into force in 2003.
The process brings together diamond exporting and importing states along with industry organisations and civil society groups.