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IFC Sustainability Framework

Frequently Asked Questions on the Review Process


 

 



Q: What does the term "sustainability framework" include?

A: When IFC uses the term "sustainability framework" we are including the Policy on Sustainability, the Performance Standards, and the Policy on Disclosure of Information.

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Q: Why is IFC conducting a review and update of the IFC Policy and Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability and Policy on Disclosure of Information?

A: When the Policy and Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability and the Policy on Disclosure of Information (sustainability framework) were approved in 2006, the Board asked IFC to report on the implementation of the framework after the initial three years of application and subsequently update the policies if necessary.

IFC's implementation experience shows that the framework is generally sound but there are clarifications and modifications that would improve its effectiveness. IFC also seeks to capture new developments and trends in the marketplace. Therefore, IFC requested an approval from the Board's Committee of Development Effectiveness to start the review and update process. It was granted on July 29, 2009.

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Q: What is the goal of the consultation process?

A: The goal of consultation is to give stakeholders the opportunity to participate in the review and update process by providing their feedback, concerns and inquiries which will ultimately lead to an improved sustainability framework.

In order to have the widest participation, IFC will use various online channels and face-to-face sessions to receive input but also to provide stakeholders with adequate and timely information throughout the process.

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Q: How do I participate in the consultation process?

A: Stakeholders may participate through a variety of channels:

  • send an e-mail to the review team at policyreview@ifc.org
  • through the website by entering comments in the General Comments section
  • through live web chats listed under the Upcoming Events section of the website
  • mail a letter to:
    IFC Policy Review
    International Finance Corporation
    2121 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, MSN F 3P-301
    Washington DC 20433, USA

In addition, IFC will organize face to face consultations in Washington, DC, and globally with stakeholders including project-affected communities. More information on these consultations will be posted on the website as it becomes available.

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Q: When can I participate in these consultations – is there a specific timeline?

A: The timelinefor the consultations will be driven by three consultation periods, the first two for 60 days and the third one for 30 days.

However, you are always welcome to provide General Commentsthroughout the whole duration of the process, or via the many other channels listed above.

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Q: Who can take part in these consultations?

A: All interested stakeholders.

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Q: Will comments and feedback be made public?

A: Yes, a summary of each of the consultation phases will be made available on the website.

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Q: How will IFC reach out to project-affected communities?

A: IFC will consult with some of the directly affected communities through face-to-face meetings at the project level.

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Q: Will all documents be translated into all languages?

A: The original policy documents and the Overview of Consultation and Engagement Process papers for both the IFC Policy and Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability and for the IFC Policy on Disclosure of Informationare available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.

The final version of the IFC Policy and Performance Standards on Social Sustainability and Policy on Disclosure of Information will also be made available in these languages once approved by the Board.

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Q: Will possible changes to the Performance Standards and Disclosure Policy be shown in track changes?

A: Yes, once draft versions of the new policies are created, they will be available in track change versions. This will occur in Phase II and Phase III consultation periods.

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Q: Will the final versions of the Sustainability Policy, Performance Standards and Disclosure Policy be posted on this website?

A: Once the review and update process is complete, IFC will seek final Board approval of the revised Policy documents. Subject to final approval, the final versions will be posted.

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Q: Will the Performance Standard Guidance Notes be updated?

A: Yes, the Guidance Notes will be updated as part of this process.

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Q: Will the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines be updated as part of this process?

A: The EHS Guidelines will be updated in the future but this will be done separately from this review and update process.

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Q: What is the External Advisory Group and what is its function?

A: IFC has established an external Advisory Group to provide an independent view and nonbinding advice throughout the PS review-and-update process. The Advisory Group is intended to be one of many forums through which IFC can better understand and seek expert guidance on existing and emerging issues related to the Performance Standards. The group is comprised of individuals that have diverse and relevant backgrounds in some of the focus areas where IFC is interested in seeking additional views. They are providing their individual views and not those of their affiliations, therefore stakeholder consultation should be via the channels described on the website and not through Advisory Group members. The individuals and their affiliations are as follows: Salil Tripathi (Institute for Human Rights and Business); Jane Nelson (Kennedy School of Government Harvard); Kit Armstrong (Independent Environmental Consultant); David McLaughlin (World Wildlife Fund); John Laidlaw (HSBC); and Linda Broekhuizen (FMO).

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