IFC Performance Standards Case Studies

We feel that meaningfulness of IFC Performance Standards is best being demonstrated through real case studies (business case). Therefore, we have prepared a series of such studies which cover all eight performance standards.

As well as all typical risk scenarios (boycott, protest, negative media, closure, accidents, etc.) and all relevant geographical areas (Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe). All cases are real, even if names needed to be masked for confidentiality reasons.


Eco Lodge (Sri Lanka), Paper Mills (Kenya), Private Equity Fund (Uganda), Involving Indigenous People (Bolivia)

Export Market Regulators
Fair Trade (Kenya), Workers Protest (South Asia)

Infrastructure Developer (Uganda), Workers Protest (South Asia)

Eco Lodge (Sri Lanka), Paper Mills (Kenya), Private Equity Fund (Uganda), Cultural Heritage (Uganda)

Workers Protest (South Asia)

Pollution of National Park (Southern Africa)

Pollution of National Park (Southern Africa), Shutdown (Kenya)

Accidents and Disasters
Pollution of National Park (Southern Africa)

Case studies IFC PS

Mini Hydropower – climate friendly but not devoid of E&S risks

This case study considers three banks with three different mini-hydropower projects. Despite hydropower being a climate friendly renewable energy source, they, including mini-hydro schemes, have attracted controversy over their environmental and social impact.

More information on this case study is available on the website of Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (SLBA).


Unmanaged environmental and social risks are credit risks

This case study focuses on the relationship between a client’s failure to manage their pollution impact and credit risk. It presents three different businesses that were existing clients of the bank. One a chemical warehouse facility, one a small-scale metal plating company and the third a medium scale textile finishing company.

More information on this case study is available on the website of Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (SLBA).

The importance of understanding land-based livelihoods and why disrupting them can lead to conflict

This case study considers the experience of a small medium enterprise (SME) seeking finance for a multi-crop agricultural venture. The SME is a long-standing client of the Bank with existing accounts for its boutique hotel business. The case highlights the importance of establishing a clear understanding of land tenure regimes and potential claims on land ownership and/or occupancy rights during the credit risk analysis.

More information on this case study is available on the website of Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (SLBA).


Banking on opportunities

With adoption of two major international policies namely the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change private finance needs to be mobilised and directed towards realising critical sustainability solutions.

More information on this case study is available on the website of Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (SLBA).

Innovation in financing green products for the unbanked

In December 2013, Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd (CBA) Bank approved a debt facility for M-KOPA, a Kenyan-based tech start-up company in the business of selling solar powered battery packs through a staggered instalment payment system managed entirely via the mobile payments platform M-Pesa.

More information on this case study is available on the website Sustainable Finance Initiative of Kenya Bankers Association (KBA).


Fair trade as a rewarding business model in the horticulture sector

In conjunction with promoting best practices in Sustainable Finance, this case study outlines the opportunities arising from fair trade certification in the horticulture sector.

More information on this case study is available on the website Sustainable Finance Initiative of Kenya Bankers Association (KBA).


Case studies IFC PS to come


Eco lodge under pressure from local communities

What looks particularly promising on the environmental side, can have challenges on the social side. Even ECO-lodges demand a full scale E&S due diligence to get a complete picture of issues involved.

Accidental pollution of downstream National park

A Southeast Asian financial institutions client company (chemical industry) has leaked polluted water into a neighboring river. River flows directly into a national park where it kills wildlife. Risks had been identified during due diligence and first disbursement halted when the accident happened.


Burgeoning protest culture in South Asia (Textile Industry)

Workers in South Asia are increasingly getting self-confident and demand their rights. This development is supported by incidents like the collapse of textile factories in Bangladesh.

Please contact us for more details on these case studies

Large scale african infrastructure developer

The company was expected to become a premier infrastructure developer in Africa and was pursuing a select number of high-impact, large scale transport infrastructure projects. CAO received a complaint raising labor issues regarding unpaid salaries and expenses owed to employees of the company.


Bolivian Mine not sufficiently involving indigenous people

This Bolivian mine has been confronted with concerns related to quality of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), consultation and disclosure of information to indigenous communities and compensation issue.


The spirit of Bujagali (Cultural Heritage)

The construction of a Hydroelectric Power Plant in Eastern Africa raised serious concern amongst local populations in relation to cultural and spiritual effects.


Cacao Farms

The chocolate industry has a century-long history of forced and child labor. Global chocolate companies are asked to do more to stop children working on cocoa farms in West Africa.


Palm Oil Plantations

Not all palm oil production is sustainable. Monoculture palm oil plantations have displaced important tropical forests and other ecosystems with high conservation values…with issues relating to social problems.


Workers Sabotage Toll Road (Infrastructure)

The internationally renowned ABC bank has invested 30 Mio US$ into a 120 km toll road project in Southern India. The moment construction began it became clear that the scope of the ESIA had been too narrow and not fully in line with the requirements of the IFC Performance Standards.


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