Tokyo, November 7, 2013
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is hosting a two-day forum in Tokyo on November 7-8 for more than 100 banking representatives and regulators from the emerging markets to promote sustainable banking practices that aim to improve risk management, expand lending, protect the environment, and grow economies.
The Community of Learning forum, held in Asia for the first time, has brought together leading banks, export credit agencies, development financial institutions, and regulators from Bangladesh, China, Mongolia, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, and Vietnam.
They will be discussing ways for financial institutions to strengthen the implementation of environmental and social standards and to apply IFC’s Sustainability Performance Standards for private sector finance in emerging markets. The standards are a global benchmark that has been adopted by more than 100 financial institutions worldwide, including all 78 signatories to the Equator Principles, a credit risk management framework for assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project-finance transactions.
“The forum is an important knowledge platform for Equator Principles financial institutions and other practitioners. It helps us stay at the cutting edge of environmental and social risk management for private sector finance in emerging markets,” said Mercedes Sotoca, head of environmental and social Risk Management at ING and chair of the Equator Principles Steering Committee. “The Equator Principles have come a long way in the last 10 years and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with IFC to promote knowledge sharing and international outreach in sustainable banking.”
This year is the 10th anniversary since the Equator Principles were introduced and the number of banks that have adopted them has grown from 10 to 78. IFC is the largest multilateral source of loans and equity finance for private enterprises in emerging markets and is a leader in applying environmental and social sustainability standards to investments.
“IFC has found that environmental and social risk management is helping banks make better lending decisions,”
said Karin Finkelston, IFC vice president for Asia Pacific. “It is also opening up new financing opportunities, such as energy- and water-efficiency projects, for a growing number of financial institutions.”
A day before the forum, banking regulators took part in a Sustainable Banking Network meeting. Formed in 2012 and led by IFC, the network now includes regulatory agencies from 12 countries and serves as a knowledge platform for sustainable banking.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit