IFC Sustainability Framework

The Sustainability Framework is an integral part of IFC´s approach to risk management and helps its clients do business in a sustainable way. IFC´s Performance Standards, which are part of the Sustainability Framework, have become globally recognized as a benchmark for environmental and social risk management in the private sector. Originally adopted in 2006, the Sustainability Framework has been updated following an 18-month consultation process with stakeholders around the world. The updates include supply-chain management, resource efficiency and climate change, and business and human rights.1

Goal: The Sustainability Framework promotes sound environmental and social practices, encourages transparency and accountability, and contributes to positive development impacts.

Relevant Clauses:2

Performance Standard 1:

Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts

  • To identify and evaluate environmental and social risks and impacts of the project.
  • To adopt a mitigation hierarchy to anticipate and avoid, or […], minimize, and […], compensate/offset for risks and impacts to workers, Affected Communities, and the environment.
  • To promote improved environmental and social performance of clients […]
  • To ensure that grievances from Affected Communities and external communications from other stakeholders are responded to and managed appropriately.
  • To promote and provide means for adequate engagement with Affected Communities throughout the project cycle […] to ensure that relevant environmental and social information is disclosed and disseminated.

Performance Standard 2:

Labor and Working Conditions

  • To promote the fair treatment, non-discrimination,and equal opportunity of workers.
  • To establish, maintain, and improve the workermanagement relationship.
  • To promote compliance with national employment and labor laws.
  • To protect workers, including vulnerable categories of workers such as children, migrant workers, workers engaged by third parties, and workers in the client’s supply chain.
  • To promote safe and healthy working conditions, and the health of workers.
  • To avoid the use of forced labor.

Performance Standard 3:

Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention

  • To avoid or minimize adverse impacts on human health and the environment by avoiding or minimizing pollution from project activities.
  • To promote more sustainable use of resources, including energy and water.
  • To reduce project-related GHG emissions.

Performance Standard 4:

Community Health, Safety,and Security

  • To anticipate and avoid adverse impacts on the health and safety of the Affected Community duringthe project life […].
  • To ensure that the safeguarding of personnel and property is carried out in accordance with relevant human rights principles and in a manner that avoids or minimizes risks to the Affected Communities.

Performance Standard 5:

Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement

  • To avoid, and when avoidance is not possible, minimize displacement […].
  • To avoid forced eviction.
  • To anticipate and avoid, or […], minimize adverse social and economic impacts from land acquisition or restrictions on land use by
  • providing compensation for loss of assets atreplacement cost and
  • ensuring that resettlement activities are implemented with appropriate disclosure of information, consultation, and the informed participation of those affected.
  • To improve, or restore, the livelihoods and standards of living of displaced persons.

Performance Standard 6:

Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources

  • To protect and conserve biodiversity.
  • To maintain the benefits from ecosystem services.
  • To promote the sustainable management of living natural resources through the adoption of practices that integrate conservation needs and development priorities.

 Performance Standard 7:

Indigenous Peoples

  • To ensure that the development process fosters full respect for the human rights, dignity, aspirations, culture, and natural resource-based livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples.
  • To anticipate and avoid adverse impacts of projects on communities of Indigenous Peoples, or […], to minimize and/or compensate for such impacts.
  • To promote sustainable development benefits and opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in a culturally appropriate manner.
  • To establish and maintain an ongoing relationship based on Informed Consultation and Participation (ICP) with the Indigenous Peoples affected by a project throughout the project’s life-cycle.
  • To ensure the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the Affected Communities of Indigenous Peoples […].
  • To respect and preserve the culture, knowledge, and practices of Indigenous Peoples.

Performance Standard 8:

Cultural Heritage

  • To protect cultural heritage from the adverse impacts of project activities and support its preservation.
  • To promote the equitable sharing of benefits from the use of cultural heritage.

  1. IFC (2014): IFC Sustainability Framework []
  2. IFC (2012): IFC Sustainability Framework. Policy and Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainabilityhttp://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/topics_ext_content/ifc_external_corporate_site/ifc+sustainability/our+approach/risk+management/performance+standards/environmental+and+social+performance+standards+and+guidance+notes []