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.
Financing includes all institutions that provide or accept financing
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 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 Carbon Reduction Label uses carbon foot printing to measure and display the total greenhouse emissions of a product. Products are labelled with a gram/CO2 figure. This is designed to increase the availability of information about the product to consumers and aid their purchasing decisions.
The Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) declared mission is to promote sustainability reporting so that it is of an equivalent standing to financial reporting in rigour, comparability, auditability and general acceptance.
The CDP (formerly known as Carbon Disclosure Project) is a non-profit organisation that works with market forces to disclose their impact on the environment. In this, CDP claims to motivate action to prevent climate change and protect natuarl resources.
As part of its mission, CDP has 6 programs - these are: