Johan Frijns Johan@banktrack.org
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In 2016 BankTrack launched the Equator Principles Track and Chase Project (EPTC). With this project, we aim to strengthen public scrutiny of the activities of the Equator Principles Association and the implementation of the Equator Principles (EPs) by individual Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs).
With the EPTC project, BankTrack will help ensure that the EPs deliver on their stated objective that banks when financing projects provide effective safeguards for the rights and interests of affected communities, and for the protection of the environment. We will do so by:
- actively engaging with the EP Association and individual EPFIs on the implementation and strengthening of the Principles;
- providing support to communities that are affected by projects financed "under Equator";
- assessing compliance of specific projects financed under EPs and taking action when projects appear not compliant; and
- training civil society groups on the use of the EPs in advocacy work.
The Equator Principles
The Equator Principles are a risk management framework, created and adopted by financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risks in financing projects. Currently, 91 Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) in 37 countries worldwide have officially adopted the EPs, covering over 70 percent of international Project Finance debt in emerging markets. Over the years, the Principles have become the de facto standard for all banks and investors on how to deal with potential and environmental effects of large scale projects to be financed. They were launched in 2003 and revised in 2006 and again in 2013.
EPFIs commit themselves to implement the EPs in their internal environmental and social policies, procedures and standards for financing projects. According to the Principles, an EPFI will not provide finance services where the client will not, or is unable to, comply with the EPs.
The EPs consist of 10 different Principles, as summarised in the figure below. The principles are applicable for the following types of finance: project finance, project-related corporate loans, project finance advisory services and bridge loans.
Project level implementation
The Equator Principles require each EPFI to publicly disclose the names of projects that are financed under the Principles as a project finance arrangement, and have reached financial close in the previous year, this:
- subject to obtaining client consent,
- subject to applicable local laws and regulations, and
- subject to no additional liability for the EPFI as a result of reporting in certain identified jurisdictions." (Source: EP III).
A list of these projects as per EPFI can be found on the Equator Principles website.
BankTrack's archive of Equator reporting
As project name information on the Equator Principles website is reported on a bank-by-bank basis, it is not possible to search the EP website to find out which banks financed which project. Similarly it is not possible to search projects financed by sector or by country. This would all be feasible if the same data were presented in a more accessible database format. The limited level of reporting that is currently published on the Equator Principles website also does not stick around for long – only the most recent two years’ reporting data stays on the website. To ensure this data is not lost, and to make analysis of EP reporting data easier, we collect EP reporting data in a publicly available spreadsheet, available here.
If you are actively working or campaigning on any of the projects listed in this document we would be interested to get in touch with you and explore cooperation. Please contact Johan Frijns.