Sustainable Finance

Financial institutions recognise that environmental, social and governance risks are relevant to credit risk. Since the advent of the Equator Principles in 2003 (which incorporate the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards and the World Bank Group's technical industry guidelines (EP)), the environmental and social impacts of projects have been screened and managed, with increasing numbers of financial institutions adopting the EP as their benchmark for sustainable project finance. The EP have in turn paved the way for other soft law sustainability initiatives instituted by private sector organisations such as the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

We are seen as global market leaders in the area of sustainable and ethical finance, having advised numerous financial institutions and energy majors on the risks and benefits of adopting sustainability policies We also advise on the application of these standards in projects and mega-projects around the world.

Recent transactions include advising:

  • a consortium of commercial banks and export credit providers on environmental and social issues in connection with the project financing of a rail corridor in Mozambique
  • Reficar on the environmental aspects of the development and financing of the expansion and upgrade of an existing 80,000 bpd refinery located in Colombia.  This financing won the PFM Latin American Downstream Oil and Gas Deal of the Year Award
  • Glencore on one of the first development stage resource financings of a non-operator interest in an upstream oil and gas project in the world, and the first limited recourse financing of any type in Equatorial Guinea
  • numerous financial institutions that have adopted the Equator Principles (EP) on governance and risk management in relation to EP and collaboration with the Equator Principles Association on a range of strategic, disclosure and governance issues, including drafting the Association’s membership rules
  • on special interest group complaints in relation to the application of standards to a particular project, freedom of information applications, and assertions of extra-territorial reach of environmental legislation
  • lenders on the environmental and social provisions in project documentation for the financing of biomass plants as well as advising on environmental re-permitting processes and the allocation of liability for contaminated land for operators.
  • financial institutions and fund managers across a range of different jurisdictions on their obligations under national legislation implementing the Oslo Convention on cluster munitions;
  • assisting in cross sector discussions between financial institutions and extractive sector companies in relation to the 2012 IFC performance standards relating to biodiversity and eco-system services and in particular the circumstances and criteria for biodiversity offsets;