Today, two days before the deadline, a group of 14 socially responsible investing (SRI) firms and organizations representing over $117 billion in assets filed a letter with the IFC, following up on a previous letter from April 2005 and an earlier letter from April 2004. ...The IFC's responds that they're attempting to maintain flexibility for clients, and they never intended to dilute standards. After seeing this kind of rhetoric many times in defense of wishy-washy environmental standards, I have to wonder how minimum standards on the most important environmental issues that face us constitutes being inflexible...
The letter, whose signatories include Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), KLD Research & Analytics, General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church, MMA Praxis Funds, Progressive Asset Management (PAM), [and] Trillium Asset Management, lists six key concerns. These include strengthening IFC accountability, implementing corporate screening and minimum human rights standards, the absence of a comprehensive climate strategy, and the dilution of existing performance standards.
"The proposed new system provides IFC with increased flexibility and discretion in making lending decisions but does not call for a parallel strengthening of the IFC's own accountability or improved system of monitoring and oversight that ensures that IFC clients are adhering to IFC's policies," writes ["Lauren Compere, Chief Administrative Officer and Global Advocacy Coordinator for Boston Common Asset Management, who authored the letter"].
Categories: sri, world bank, sustainability, environment, standards