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Agricultural lenders adopt social & environmental safeguards
Author: The Microfinance Gateway, Published on: 17 February 2017
"Major Agricultural Lenders Adopt Shared Social and Environmental Principles"
Members of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF)...have formally adopted a set of jointly developed environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles...The ratification of these guiding principles is part of CSAF’s broader mission to promote responsible lending among financial institutions serving the needs of smallholder farmers and agricultural businesses globally.
CSAF members will continue to employ their own proprietary policies and evaluation tools in conducting ESG due diligence on prospective investments. In addition...they also commit to CSAF’s social and environmental principles with respect to borrowers’ ESG practices, including:
- Exclusion of harmful ESG practices that are destructive to human well-being or the environment. CSAF members commit to not finance businesses engaged in forced child labor, commercial logging in primary tropical moist forest, or any other ESG exclusion practices, which are largely drawn from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) exclusion list;
- Pursuit of positive ESG practices beyond screening out borrowers with negative practices. CSAF members commit to finance borrowers that are creating economic opportunities for low-income populations, and protecting the environment through sustainable production practices;
- Promotion of continuous improvement of ESG practices among borrowers, lenders, and CSAF as a group to encourage socially and environmentally responsible operations and positive impacts. CSAF members commit to pursue improvements to their due diligence processes and tools to strengthen their ability to assess borrower compliance with ESG standards.