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Advisory Services 

IFC’s Performance Standards Support Sustainable Investments for European Institutions


IFC’s long-standing partnership with European Development Finance Institutions is built on a shared commitment to support sustainable businesses in emerging markets. With collective assets of 22 billion, these 15 bilateral institutions have benchmarked their projects against IFC’s Performance Standards for the last four years--and have contributed valuable implementation experience to our stakeholder consultations. IFC’s updated Performance Standards, which went into effect on January 1, are now part of their risk management frameworks.


“Our globally active institutions place the highest value on the environmental and social sustainability of the projects we finance,” said Peter Thimme, Director of Sustainability at DEG, the German development finance institution. “IFC’s Performance Standards are the most widely acknowledged set of standards available in this area. Benchmarking against the standards simplifies agreement on necessary requirements with clients and co-financing partners alike.”


IFC recently held training sessions with the European Development Finance Institutions in Cologne, Germany to review key changes to the standards, support their implementation, and share practical solutions aimed at improving clients’ environmental and social performance.

The European institutions were particularly interested in how the Performance Standards can be applied to small and medium enterprises, supply-chain management, and government-led resettlement. They also learned more about IFC’s new Access to Information Policy as well as corporate governance activities.

Working with partner institutions helps extend IFC’s impact and strengthen our own knowledge of emerging issues in sustainability.

“External partners, such as the European Development Finance Institutions, bring vital perspectives about sustainability,” said William Bulmer, Director of the Environment, Social and Governance Department. “Applying similar environmental and social standards helps make our cooperation more efficient and reduces transaction costs for clients who seek joint financing from our institutions. The objective is for investors and businesses to be able to identify risks and potential impacts, and to devise sustainable solutions that are good for business, good for investors, and good for the environment and communities.”

For more information, please contact Vanessa Bauza.

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