Sustainable Finance

IFC works with financial institutions to introduce environmental, social, and governance standards, as well as risk management to their lending practices. We also work to promote stability of financial systems in developing countries, and channel finance to responsible companies.

In addition, we work with regulators and stock exchanges to introduce environmental, social and governance standards to markets—which can help address challenges that are beyond the ability or responsibility of a company to solve alone.


Community of Learning

This knowledge-sharing network brings together financial institutions implementing the Equator Principles and other stakeholders working on sustainable banking practices. IFC convenes the network once a year to share expertise on applying IFC's Performance Standards and to provide a platform for participants to learn from each other's practical experience.

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The Equator Principles

IFC has played a pivotal role in establishing and updating the Equator Principles—a sustainability framework that has become the standard for environmental and social principles throughout the financial industry. We supported the drafting and implementation of the framework and since then have provided training, guidance, and advice to implementing banks. Today 134 financial institutions in 38 countries have officially adopted the principles, covering more than 70 percent of international project finance debt in emerging markets.

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Financial Institutions: Resources, Solutions and Tools (FIRST)

IFC, with support from donors, manages FIRST—Financial Institutions: Resources, Solutions and Tools—for Sustainability. This is a one-stop shop for financial institutions to get information and learn about the benefits of environmental and social risk management and how to identify and take advantage of environmental business opportunities.

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Sustainable Banking and Finance Network (SBFN)

The Sustainable Banking and Finance Network (SBFN) is a unique community of financial sector regulatory agencies and banking associations from emerging markets committed to advancing sustainable finance in line with international good practice. The network facilitates the collective learning of members and supports them in policy development and related initiatives to create drivers for sustainable finance in their home countries. IFC participated in the creation of SBFN and currently serves as its secretariat and technical advisor. 

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Global Map of Environmental and Social Risks in Agro-Commodity Production (GMAP)

GMAP is a database—displayed as an online, interactive world map—that collects data on environmental and social risks associated with about 250 country-commodity combinations across the globe. Using a methodology aligned with IFC's Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability, GMAP can provide an early assessment of risks related to agri-commodity production as well as detailed risk-management support.

Click here to learn about our 2017 GMAP Pilot program.


Environmental & Social Management (ESMS) System Diagnostic Tool for Financial Institutions (FIs)

The ESMS for FIs is a management system of procedures, commitments, roles and responsibilities, and guidance that a bank or private equity fund follows to review and manage E&S issues and risks associated with investments. IFC’s ESMS Diagnostic Tool for FIs is designed to enable IFC, FIs, institutional investors and asset managers assess or self-assess the quality of an ESMS and benchmark it against IFC’s Performance Standard 1 and good market practices.

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Environmental and Social Risk Management Program (ESRM) in Africa

IFC's ESRM program provides support to financial institutions, regulators, industry associations, training institutions and other partners on the development and implementation of environmental and social (E&S) risk management practices for the financial sector in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. The website is a one-stop-shop for our partners and stakeholders and includes information on how financial institutions can effectively implement E&S risk management best practices and associated regulatory requirements. This includes best practice guidance tailored to the country contexts of Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria.

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