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Washington, D.C., June 25, 2010—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, assembled over 200 private sector and civil society professionals to discuss ways companies can maximize the positive impact they have through community investments in developing countries.
Participants at the 2010 IFC Corporate Responsibility Forum, held June 15-17, agreed that as expectations for corporate involvement in addressing development challenges increase, the measure of success has shifted from amount of dollars spent to the degree of impact achieved. This calls for more sophisticated approaches and tools that can help companies apply greater rigor in the way they select sustainability investments and measure the value they create both for local communities and the business.
IFC, whose clients in the infrastructure and natural resources sector are expected to spend more than $500 million on local community investments over the next five years, launched the
Good Practice Handbook on Strategic Community Investment
. The handbook gives companies a tool for aligning the strategic issues of the business with the development priorities of local stakeholders to create shared value and to move away from ad hoc initiatives and donations.
“We saw a need for clients to take a strategic approach and quantify the great work they are doing through their community investments,” said Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services. “This presents an opportunity for companies to transform the way community investment is approached and maximize the positive impact they are having on the ground.”
IFC also introduced participants to its Financial Valuation Tool, co-developed with Rio Tinto and Deloitte, which allows companies to measure the financial value of community investments at specific projects around the world. IFC clients Newmont Mining and Cairn India shared their experiences piloting the tool at their operations in Ghana and India.
“IFC has managed to bring financial language into sustainability and community investment in a way that is accessible to corporate responsibility and financial professionals,” said Claude Perras, Director Community Relations, Rio Tinto. “IFC is a leader in thinking about the private sector’s role in sustainability and we look forward to a continued relationship with IFC.”
Participants also focused on effective ways of communicating their sustainability with stakeholders such as local communities and investors. IFC and the Global Reporting Initiative shared a good practice note,
Getting More Value out of Sustainability Reporting
, that will make it easier and more profitable for companies to adopt sustainability reporting. The tool links IFC’s Sustainability Framework for private sector investment in emerging markets and the GRI Framework for Sustainability Reporting.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. IFC fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
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