Setting ESG Standards & Advancing Sustainable Finance

IFC helps clients understand and manage the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) risks they face.

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Sustainability is critical to companies’ business success. It’s critical, too, for their customers, surrounding communities, broader stakeholders, and the environment.

IFC investment clients across the emerging markets:

  • 91% believe that IFC’s Environment and Social requirements are helpful to their long-term business success
  • 90% believe that IFC’s Corporate Governance requirements are helpful to their long-term business success

At a Glance

In the last decade alone, IFC estimates that investments totaling $4.5 trillion across emerging markets have adhered to IFC’s Performance Standards or principles inspired by them.

Additionally, 35 Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) have adopted the Corporate Governance Development Framework based on IFC’s Corporate Governance Methodology. 


Our Approach


We partner with industry and other stakeholders to find innovative solutions that open up opportunities for economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable private investment — which, in turn, contribute to jobs and inclusive growth. IFC’s ESG policies, guidelines, and tools are widely adopted as market standards and embedded in operational policies by corporations, investors, financial intermediaries, stock exchanges, regulators, and countries. This helps emerging markets raise their ESG standards and level the playing field.

Setting Standards

For nearly three decades, IFC has been a leader in the ESG space - from pioneering early ESG concepts around safeguards to developing industry-recognized standards widely adopted in project and development finance. 

Advancing Sustainable Solutions

ESG efforts span across topics, industries, and sectors - from climate-risk management to improving gender equality to promoting sustainable finance.

Building ESG Capacity

ESG advisory efforts guide clients towards good ESG international industry practices, support market-level ESG risk management and performance, and provide advice to regulators on developing sustainable codes, regulations, and guidance.

Sharing Knowledge and Expertise

To provide on-going support to our clients as well as share our ESG knowledge and expertise broadly with all interested companies, investors, regulators, and other stakeholders, IFC facilitates several communities of practice and provides a range of resources and tools in open access.

Accountability & Transparency

We are accountable to our partners, clients and communities as we aim to achieve our development objectives in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

Partnering for Impact

IFC works with many partners and participates in various networks to help advance ESG and sustainable finance efforts.

Insights & Reports


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