IFC, a member of the World Bank Group launched IFC’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability in Lao language with support from the Australian government. This set of eight internationally-recognized performance standards guides the private sector, helping them to identify, and manage risks and impacts, to achieve sustainability. The standards are now available in 10 languages worldwide.
“In Lao PDR, companies working in the power sector face complex environmental and social challenges. It is imperative that the sector works toward advancing sustainability,” said Daovong Phonekeo, Director General of Cabinet, Ministry of Energy and Mines in Vientiane. “Improving environmental and social sustainability could help companies in the power sector improve their public acceptance and facilitate project financing.”
Leveraging over 10 years of experience, IFC’s Performance Standards are the foundation for the Equator Principles signed on by 89 Financial Institutions. In Lao language, the standards will help local companies better learn about environmental and social risks boosting investors’ confidence in private firms as they enhance transparency, safety, and efficiency.
“We want our clients to evolve as environmental and social leaders, contributing to more sustainable and transparent markets,” said Morgan Landy, Director of Environmental, Social and Governance at IFC based in Washington DC. “Our team works to create an enabling environment for the private sector in Lao PDR to develop and manage their environmental and social risks.”
Since 1998, IFC has provided more than $86 million in equity, quasi-equity, and loans to the private sector in Lao PDR, both from its own account and mobilized from international resources. It has been working across sectors to address sustainability challenges in order to improve companies’ long-term strategy, their relationship with stakeholders and profitability.
Additionally, to advance environmental and social sustainability in renewable energies, IFC — with support from the Australian government — works with the private sector through the Hydropower Developers’ Working Group and in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mines.