In the context of Technical Assistance projects, GFA and its clients aim to maximize positive outcomes, whilst mitigating for potential negative impacts. However, this notion necessitates the development of a common understanding of relevant performance indicators, which increasingly incorporate Environmental and Social (E&S) aspects that complement the spectrum of “traditional” technical and financial indicators. International best practice emphasizes the importance of incorporating E&S factors for banking and investment decisions, which improves the overall risk management along with generating sustainable, long-term returns for Financial Institutions (FIs).
The ongoing transition to measurably responsible finance, simultaneously integrates further adaptations of FIs’ internal procedures, tools and policies in terms of Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS). Despite ongoing efforts to streamline E&S standards (e.g., in terms of the IFC Performance Standards), the FI’s, still face difficulties in adopting this change, particularly in developing and emerging countries.
GFA concept and services
Based on its long-standing experience in working with FI’s (including development banks, commercial banks, microfinance institutions and specialized FIs), GFA acknowledges the need for tailor-made solutions that seamlessly blend into existing structures to enable a change process, while simultaneously ensuring the continuation of core business activities. Additionally, the assessment of E&S impacts and associated risks often requires specialized expert knowledge. GFA therefore offers innovative and hands-on support during both the conceptualization and implementation of ESMS, including occupational health and safety as well as related tools. Our services include:
- Development of instruments for managing environmental and social risks:
- Implementation of full-fledged ESMS and review/enhancement of existing systems, policies, processes, tools and handbooks
- Integration of Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM) policies and procedures, including estimation of E&S risk exposure in portfolio development
- The introduction of or the improvement to customer complaint and grievance mechanisms
- Enhancement of project monitoring and reporting on E&S issues
- Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA):
- Support to FI’s in the assessment of sub-projects in terms of Environmental and Social Due Diligence (ESDD)
- Implementation of environmental and social scoping and impact assessments (ESIA) on indicators, such as gender equality, resilience to climate change, employment creation, etc.
- Occupational health and safety: evelopment and enhancement of safeguard procedures and policies to ensure work and health safety.
- Sustainable procurement: Verification of projects’ eligibility and compliance with sustainable procurement policies.