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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

OHS and Environmental Incident Investigations: Best Practice in Equator Principles Compliance

Industries like mining and energy know all too well that a health and safety disaster can cost shareholders millions and create untold legal and reputational liabilities. What may not be so well known is that disasters are often averted, not through prescient foresight, but by acting on the warning signs that precede most major health and safety incidents. Those warning signs are identified through one of the most potent tools in the occupational health and safety (OHS) arsenal: incident investigation.

This article discusses incident investigation in the context of mining companies operating in emerging markets, possibly seeking to comply with the requirements of the Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standards. To this end, we introduce a new process for investigation pioneered by OHS expert Michael Tooma in Australia, called the Positive Incident Investigation.

Monday, February 25, 2013


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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Grievance Mechanisms and the Equator Principles

Principle 6 of the Equator Principles (EP) requires that, for all Category A and B projects, the borrower must create a “grievance mechanism” as part of the Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS). A grievance mechanism must be designed to receive and facilitate resolution of concerns about the project’s environmental and social performance.

This article will discuss the Grievance Mechanism requirement in the EP, including as set out in the IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability (IFC Performance Standards).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Making the Sustainability Case: The Convergence of Independent Reviews and Legal Risk Management in Equator Principles Implementation

The third iteration of the Equator Principles (EP) framework will be released in the first quarter of 2013. The revised framework will, like its predecessors, have substantial implications for billions of dollars in international project financings. It will also reinforce the importance of environmental and social reviews in addressing legal and reputational risks facing Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFI). This article highlights the critical role legal counsel can (and should) play in EP implementation - particularly in the independent review process required by Principle 7.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Independent Review Requirements in Equator Principles III

The requirement for "independent reviews" has been strengthened in the last draft of the EP III.  This means that Equator Principle Financial Institutions (EPFI) will need to be more cognizant of how they conduct such reviews and who they choose to do them.  The final draft of the EP III is set to be released in the first quarter of 2013.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Seminar Invitation: Equator Principles III - The New Benchmark for Sustainable Finance in Emerging Markets

Equator Principles III (EP III) is set to be released in the first Quarter of 2013. EP III is an agreement amongst global financial institutions - including major financial institutions in Australia and Asia - to apply environmental and social standards to project financing. To RSVP CLICK HERE

Based on the practices of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, these principles set the industry gold standard for environmental and social sustainability, particularly in emerging markets like Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and the Peoples' Republic of China.

Our seminar examines the new EP III and its implications for companies looking for financing and for their financiers. How can you comply more efficiently? What is expected and how do they affect you?

This seminar features a panel that includes a representative from the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) and the lead author of the first comprehensive book on the IFC Performance Standards. The session will provide an essential guide on these issues, with a practical orientation for bankers and those seeking access to capital.

Venue: Norton Rose Australia Level 18 Grosvenor Place 225 George Street Sydney

Information: 5:15pm registration 5:30pm seminar begins 7:00pm seminar ends with networking drinks to follow
Norton Rose hosts: Tessa Hoser, Partner Chris Redden, Partner Michael Torrance, Senior Associate

Enquiries: Lynette Shelley, 02 9330 8935


Legal practitioners can claim 1.5 CPD points in the Substantive Law category for attendance

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Understanding "Consent" in Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous Peoples - Implications for the IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles

This article considers the meaning of "consent" in Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) applied to an Equator Principles governed project where the IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability (the Performance Standards) apply.  The contents are derived from a chapter by Pierre-Christian Labeau in the book IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability: A Guidebook.

Good Practice Note on Cumulative Impact Assessment and Management for the Private Sector in Emerging Markets

IFC is preparing a Good Practice Note on Cumulative Impact Assessment and Management for the Private Sector in Emerging Markets, with the intention of providing practical guidance to companies investing in emerging markets to improve their understanding, assessment, and tools to manage cumulative environmental and social impacts associated with their projects or business activities.

More information on the external consultation process can be found here.  A link to the draft Good Practice Note can be found here.

Sample Chapter Excerpt - "IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability: A Guidebook"

Here is a link to a chapter sample for the new Guidebook, "Chapter Two, Performance Standard Two: Labour and Working Conditions".  For more information on the book and to order click here.