Monthly Archives: August 2011

The IFC Performance Standards and Consultation with Communities

As discussed in an earlier post, the International Finance Corporation ("IFC") recently released an updated version of its Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability.  The IFC uses the Performance Standards to manage the social and environmental risks and impacts associated with projects receiving IFC financing.  The revised Standards reflect a number of important changes, particularly on the topic of engaging with communities, with special guidance related to indigenous peoples. 

The Performance Standards, in essence, lay out three tiers of community engagement:

(1)   Baseline Consultation

Pursuant to Performance… More

Greenpeace Critiques Apparel Sector Companies for Failing to Manage Water Contamination by Suppliers

Some of the world’s most well-known apparel companies have come under criticism from Greenpeace for not sufficiently monitoring and limiting industrial wastewater discharges by suppliers.  In a new report called "Dirty Laundry", Greenpeace highlights the wastewater discharges from two major manufacturers in China that supply products to a range of major brands — including Adidas, Bauer Hockey, Calvin Klein, Converse, Lacoste, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen and Puma.  

In the report, Greenpeace alleges that the suppliers’ facilities discharge a range of hazardous chemicals into the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas – most… More

H.R. 2759: New Federal Bill Would Require Companies to Disclose Efforts to Address Human Rights Risks in their Supply Chains

On August 1, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced H.R. 2759, the Business Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act (.pdf), a bill modeled after the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act.  The bill would require companies to disclose efforts to identify and address the risks of human trafficking, forced labor, slavery, and the worst forms of child labor in their supply chains. 

The requirements of the California statute, which goes into effect on January 1, 2012, have been described in several previous posts.  Similar… More

International Finance Corporation Releases Revised Sustainability Framework

The International Finance Corporation ("IFC") released its updated Sustainability Framework today, reflecting changes adopted by the IFC’s Board of Directors in May 2011. The Framework includes the IFC’s Policy and Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability.  The updates reflect a number of important changes, including both the scope of Framework’s application and the nature of the substantive requirements for borrowers. The new Framework will be effective on January 1, 2012.

Notably, the scope of application for the Performance Standards has expanded substantially. Previously, the Performance Standards only applied to project financing.  Going forward, the… More