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World Bank (IFC) Policy and Performance Standards on Social & Environmental Sustainability

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Systems & Standards 4 Sustainability

Our other programmes:

'Promote Sustainable Development'

Sustainable Food

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Setting Standards..

In order to judge whether performance is adequate and improving, we need a set of standards. There are several national and international standards that deal with various aspects of social and environmental sustainability. Click for table of standards 4 sustainability.

In particular, the Global Reporting Initiative involves many stakeholders and sets out guidelines to help companies report about sustainability.

This CSR planner aims to help companies improve performance, and thus directs employers and employees as to what they should do to maintain systems at work. The World Bank have recently produced standards that are based on such systems that are comprehensive, inclusive and authoritative.

Performance Standards.

The International Finance Corporation, a World Bank Group, have produced a set of Performance Standards for Social and Environmental Sustainability. The World Bank Performance Standards help companies:

  • address environmental and social risks and opportunities
  • manage their risks
  • provide a baseline to measure increase in the sustainability
  • improve performance through an "outcomes-based approach"

Companies need a consistent approach that "avoids adverse impacts on workers, communities, and the environment". If avoidance is not possible, companies should reduce, mitigate, or compensate for the impacts.

The World Bank sets out a series of standards for the systems, work conditions, health and land - see top menu for complete list. In order to demonstrate perfromance in relation to work, health and the rest, companies first need to set up a system...

We have been in discussion with IFC. They have confirmed that we can use their standards like this, provided we make it clearer as to what they say and what is our intepretation of them. We are going to do this in a future re-draft. If you would like to be involved/comment, please let us know -