Eksfin’s material issues are linked to the composition of the portfolio, sustainability trends and collected input from key stakeholders.
In the spring of 2020, GIEK and Eksportkreditt Norge (the two predecessors to Eksfin) jointly conducted a stakeholder survey in which we asked a selection of key stakeholders for input on our sustainability work. The following topics were most frequently identified as important material issues:
- Adhering to international frameworks and collaborations, environmental and social due diligence, as well as transparency and public reporting
- Climate change, labour rights & worker health, as well as impacts to local communities
- UN Sustainable Development Goals and anti-corruption
In the discussions, it was emphasised that the selection of specific sustainability topics and material issues for GIEK and EK should be based on the portfolio and overall risk exposure. Many cited the climate and labour rights as very important specific sustainability topics.
Based on earlier engagements and the survey in 2020, Eksfin has identified five material issues as highlighted in Eksfin’s sustainability policy:
- Environmental and social due diligence, as well as anticorruption and money laundering
- Labour and human rights
- Climate change
- Healthy and productive ocean
Eksfin maintains a proactive approach to assessing sustainability risks associated with the transactions it finances. The due diligence aims to identify, assess and mitigate potential negative impact on people and the environment from the activities in the transaction, as well as avoiding potential cases of corruption and money laundering. Eksfin aims to ask the right questions, and strives towards compliance with international good practices in order to add value to the transactions. For more information, please see Environmental and social due diligence.
Human and worker rights
Eksfin seeks to ensure alignment with internationally recognised human rights as outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) in all financial transactions. Due to many shipping related transactions, Eksfin has a focus on the shipyard industry and as part of this work we have developed the Shipyard Labour Audit Guidelines with associated checklists.
– For Eksfin’s Shipyard Labour Audit Guidelines, click here.
– For the Labour Audit Checklist, click here.
– For the Integrated Sustainability Checklist, click here
(Similar to labour audit checklist with additional questions related to the environment, local community, worker health & safety and security, and corruption.)
– For the Self-assessment Checklist, click here.
(In some cases a self-assessment may be relevant. This checklist is similar to the integrated sustainability checklist, whilst with some modifications. Scope of the self-assessment is agreed upfront of the exercise.)
It is important that potential climate change risks are mapped and that mitigation measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as adaptation measures (where relevant) are developed. Projects that are expected to have high levels of greenhouse gas emissions will be subject to added due diligence, as well as mitigation requirements prior to final offer of financing. For more information, please see the requirements in the Equator Principles and the Guidance for Climate Change Risk Assessments.
Healthy and productive ocean
Many of Eksfin’s transactions are related to the maritime sector or they are otherwise connected to the ocean. Eksfin seeks to support projects that promote or contribute to a healthy ocean. Eksfin has, for example, contributed to the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform, and in particular to the guidance for a sustainable shipyard industry. You can read the recommendations for the industry here Practical Guidance for the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Principles Shipyards (Shipbuilding).
Eksfin evaluates potential impact to biodiversity in transactions where biodiversity may be relevant. In cases where there is a significant risk or impact to biodiversity, Eksfin aims to align with the principle “No Net Loss”. For critical biodiversity areas, Eksfin aims to align with the principle “Net Positive Impact”. You can find out more about Eksfin’s requirements in IFC Performance Standard 6: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources.