ESG Advisory Services

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IFC ESG Advisory Services leverages IFC’s expertise and knowledge to address systemic barries to investment and help clients improve their ESG performance.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles are at the core of the sustainable, long-term success of companies and private investments. Inadequate ESG practices result in external costs to business operations, the environment, and society, consequently impacting companies’ reputations. This leads to a lack of investor confidence and criticism from civil society and other stakeholders.

IFC is a global ESG market leader with expertise and extensive experience in addressing ESG challenges in emerging markets and developing economies. Using an integrated approach, IFC ESG Advisory Services guides companies, financial institutions, regulators, exchanges, and market intermediaries to holistically address multiple risks across the ESG spectrum, build capacity, and remove ESG bottlenecks to investment. Our advice is aligned and consistent with the IFC ESG Standards.

Our ESG advisory team includes environmental, social, and corporate governance experts with international expertise and sector-specific insights. They offer tailored advice relevant to the local context, leveraging their experience in applying the IFC Corporate Governance Methodology and IFC Performance Standards within IFC investment transactions.

esg advisory what we do image High rises and hotel buildings in Punta Pacifica, Panama City, Panama. Credit: Gerardo Pesantez / World Bank 

What We Do

We collaborate with companies, banks, private equity funds, and institutional investors to integrate ESG into their decision-making and operations. Our hands-on support improves corporate governance practices and the management of E&S risks.

IFC ESG Advisory Services also includes:

  • Support to regulators in developing national ESG frameworks and monitoring implementation market-wide. 

  • Capacity-building of local intermediaries, including industry associations and consultants, to promote, train, and advise on sustainability and ESG.  

  • Sector-level landscape advisory for complex projects and challenging activities involving multiple developers or investors in a single geography. We address risks beyond individual company capacities through a range of services, including ESG diagnostics, assessments, analysis, cumulative impact assessments, multistakeholder engagement platforms, and the development of joint management action plans.

Explore IFC's advisory services and products to companies and financial institutions.


Governance for Sustainability

IFC guides companies and financial institutions in establishing a corporate governance structure and good practices, and integrating environmental and social issues into high-level decision-making, strategy-setting, and risk-management processes. Our experts work closely with clients, to conduct an initial diagnostic and implement recommendations. Our approach is based on the IFC Corporate Governance Methodology

Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS) for Companies 

IFC builds the capacity of real sector companies to assess E&S risks and manage their impact on operations by building, deploying, and institutionalizing an ESMS into core business operations. Our services include diagnostics, implementation support, and capacity building workshops. The approach is based on the IFC Performance Standards

Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS) for Financial Institutions

IFC helps banks and investors integrate E&S risk management into their credit and investment decisions, in line with the IFC Performance Standards. Our ESMS services for financial institutions include a gap analysis using our ESMS Diagnostic Tool, assistance in the development of an ESMS policy, sectoral environmental and social risk management guidelines, and assessment checklists, and with transaction-level guidance. In the context of the Paris Alignment commitments, we also support financial institutions in implementing a comprehensive approach to climate risk assessment and management.

Sustainability and Climate-Related Disclosure

IFC supports organizations in improving their sustainability and climate-related reporting practices. We conduct gap analyses of a company’s existing ESG disclosures, annual reports, and sustainability reports, assess its underlying disclosure-related policies and procedures, and assist in the prepartion of the annual annual report and sustainability report. Our approach is anchored in our Beyond the Balance Sheet resources and is aligned with the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards.

Climate Governance

Companies and financial institutions are expected to integrate climate risks into their business strategy, culture, and values, which requires the adoption of appropriate  climate governance frameworks and climate-competent boards. IFC’s Climate Governance Progression Matrix focuses on the structures and processes needed for climate risk management and adaptation. Our services include climate governance assessments focused on board climate competencies, controls and compliance, climate governance training for boards and senior management, and development of core enabling policies.

ESG and Gender 

To support gender equality goals, IFC guides companies in addressing gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) risks and promoting the advancement of women to boards and senior leadership positions. We offer a company-level diagnostic to understand their strengths and areas for improvement. We guide and train boards and senior management on effective governance of GBVH risks. We provide training to build the capability of men and women leaders to navigate unconscious bias. 

Technical Environmental & Social (E&S) Advice and Guidance

IFC provides guidance based on the IFC Performance Standards and international industry best practices on technical E&S issues such as occupational health and safety management, managing E&S risks in supply chains, and addressing a wide range of issues such as gender-based violence, labor, land acquisition, biodiversity, stakeholder engagement, and grievance mechanisms. We conduct gap studies and scoping analyses and identify opportunities to address gaps. We provide clients with close, on-the-job support, comprehensive training, and assitance to technical staff, management, and board members.

Where We Work

IFC works in emerging markets and developing economies to move markets and clients towards sustainability, raise their ESG standards, and level the playing field. 

We partner with market intermediaries, industry associations, and other stakeholders to unlock opportunities for economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable private investments that contribute to jobs and inclusive growth.

Our country initiatives strengthen our firm-level offerings to companies and financial institutions across all markets.

esg-advisory-where we work Trung Son Hydropower Project site, Vietnam. Credit: Mai Ky / World Bank

Development Partners

IFC implements its integrated ESG programs in partnership with development partners. Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is a programmatic partner supporting integrated ESG initiatives in multiple countries and across all regions. We benefit from the support of additional development partners for some country-specific or region-specific projects.

Please refer to Partnering for Impact for a list of our development partners.