The World Bank Group’s Board of Directors has approved the adoption of IFC’s Performance Standards for IBRD and IDA projects that are owned, constructed and/ or operated by the private sector with the aim of increasing collaboration across the World Bank Group and facilitating private sector contributions to sustainable development.
The change seeks to address a significant constraint to the Bank Group’s support for private sector-managed projects: the dual system of World Bank environmental and social safeguard policies and IFC/MIGA Performance Standards.
The Performance Standards, which will be known as World Bank Performance Standards when used by IBRD and IDA, will apply to eligible projects with a Concept Note review date after July 1, 2012. They are initially expected to be implemented in approximately 10-15 projects per year.
“IFC’s Performance Standards have a real and positive impact on the environment and on the lives of people in developing countries, including safer working conditions, cleaner water, and more effective community engagement,” said Nena Stoiljkovic, Vice President for Business Advisory Services. “Adopting IFC’s standards as World Bank Performance Standards for private sector projects will enable joint Bank, IFC, and MIGA teams to engage with clients more effectively and efficiently, contributing to positive development outcomes.”
The World Bank Performance Standards are expected to be applied mainly to public-private partnerships, particularly in the infrastructure sector. Examples include:
Bank projects jointly financed with IFC and/or MIGA
Stand-alone Bank guarantee operations for a specific private project, such as a partial-risk guarantee
Bank loans, credits or grants to governments or public entities for on-lending to specific private projects
IFC’s updated Performance Standards, which became effective in January 2012, provide greater clarity to help clients and others avoid adverse impacts and manage risk in a sustainable way. They include increased attention to climate change, supply chain management, and conservation of natural resources.
The Performance Standards help identify ways in which IFC can add value to clients by helping them do business in a sustainable way, grow, and innovate in a fast changing world. This is crucial to achieving sustainable economic development in emerging markets in the years to come. The global recognition of IFC’s standards as a benchmark for environmental and social risk management in the private sector underscores IFC’s continued leadership in sustainability.
Want to learn more about IFC’s Performance Standards? The Sustainability Framework Learning Program is a two-day training that helps staff support clients in growing their businesses sustainably. It includes a review of recent updates to the Performance Standards. Click here to register for a session in your region or visit iCollaborate for additional resources. For on-line tools and information about IFC's Performance Standards, check out the updated one hour e-learning course.