This page (www.ifc.org/ehsguidelines) contains the most updated versions of the World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines (known as the "EHS Guidelines"). They are intended to be living documents and are occasionally updated. Earlier versions of the WBG EHS Guidelines can be found here and are provided for reference only.
The EHS Guidelines contain the performance levels and measures that are normally acceptable to IFC, and that are generally considered to be achievable in new facilities at reasonable costs by existing technology. For IFC-financed projects, application of the EHS Guidelines to existing facilities may involve the establishment of site-specific targets with an appropriate timetable for achieving them. The environmental assessment process may recommend alternative (higher or lower) levels or measures, which, if acceptable to IFC, become project- or site-specific requirements.
When host country regulations differ from the levels and measures presented in the EHS Guidelines, projects will be required to achieve whichever is more stringent. If less stringent levels or measures than those provided in the EHS Guidelines are appropriate in view of specific project circumstances, a full and detailed justification must be provided for any proposed alternatives through the environmental and social risks and impacts identification and assessment process. This justification must demonstrate that the choice for any alternate performance levels is consistent with the objectives of Performance Standard 3.
General EHS Guidelines
The General EHS Guidelines contain information on cross-cutting environmental, health, and safety issues potentially applicable to all industry sectors. This document should be used together with the relevant Industry Sector Guideline(s).
2.1 General Facility Design and Operation 2.2 Communication and Training 2.3 Physical Hazards 2.4 Chemical Hazards 2.5 Biological Hazards 2.6 Radiological Hazards 2.7 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 2.8 Special Hazard Environments 2.9 Monitoring
3.1 Water Quality and Availability 3.2 Structural Safety of Project Infrastructure 3.3 Life and Fire Safety (L&FS) 3.4 Traffic Safety 3.5 Transport of Hazardous Materials 3.6 Disease Prevention 3.7 Emergency Preparedness and Response
Disclaimer: The Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish for your convenience. Reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate translation. The official text is the English version of the Guidelines. Any discrepancies or differences created in the translation are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of the information contained in the translated Guidelines, please refer to the English version.
Acknowledgements: The IFC team would like to thank the team of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) for the dedication in translating the EHS Guidelines into Chinese and in making a joint handbook on "International Experience in Promoting Green Credit: The Equator Principles and the IFC Performance Standards and Guidelines" possible.