RBC re-commits to Equator Principles
Underscores commitment to environmental and social risk
July 6, 2006 — RBC Financial Group today became
one of 33 financial institutions around the world to sign
a revision of the Equator Principles. The Equator Principles
are a set of voluntary guidelines developed in 2003 to help
financial institutions improve how they assess, mitigate,
document and monitor the potentially adverse social and environmental
risks associated with financing projects.
The Equator Principles were revised in consultation with
clients, civil society groups and official development agencies,
and reflect the experiences of all the financial institutions
that used the Principles over the last three years. They also
reflect recent revisions to the International Finance Corporation's
(IFC) Performance Standards, upon which the Equator Principles
are in part based.
"RBC was the first Canadian bank to adopt the Equator
Principles in 2003, and we are proud to re-commit to them
now," said Shari Austin, Vice President, Group Risk Management,
RBC Financial Group. "RBC will finance only those projects
that comply with the Equator Principles, and will incorporate
their requirements into our business and risk management processes."
Equator Principles apply globally and to all sectors. These
- extend the application to all project financings with
capital costs above USD 10 million. This threshold was lowered
from USD 50 million.
- apply to project finance advisory activities.
- cover upgrades or expansions of existing projects where
the additional environmental or social impacts are significant.
- include stronger and better social and environmental standards,
including more robust public consultation standards.
The approach in applying the Principles to countries with
existing high standards for environmental and social issues
has been streamlined and all financial institutions using
the Equator Principles will be required to report on their
progress and performance of Equator Principles' implementation
on an annual basis.