FMO, the Dutch development bank, launched recently an updated sustainability policy. Through its investments in developing countries, FMO pledges to contribute to limiting global temperature increase to 2°C and preferably 1.5°C, as agreed at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015. Other key elements of the sustainability policy focus on human rights, equality for women and access to financial services for the poor.
With the new policy FMO stresses its role for society. “Previously, the focus of investments was at avoiding negative effects on people, the environment and human rights,” says Jurgen Rigterink, Chief Executive Officer of FMO. “In addition to the reduction of negative effects, we steer investments to more sustainable energy sources, the circular economy, or for example, companies that focus on women and the poor.”
In the new policy, FMO also explicitly recognized that it requires its clients not to be involved in any human rights violations, including of activists who oppose financed projects. FMO will work with other financial institutions to discuss further joint action on this issue. The new policy replaces the former corporate governance, environmental, social and human rights policies of FMO.
FMO has established the new sustainability policy in consultation with various stakeholders, including among others the Dutch government, customers, partners, local communities and civil society organizations. Drafts of the policy and related position statements were made public for consultation from October 5 to November 15, 2016. FMO received 300 comments from 68 organizations around the world, which have been included in drafting the new sustainability policy.
In 2017 the focus is on implementation of the policy. FMO extends the policy even further into other themes, including animal welfare, taxation, transparency, gender, and contextual risks of investments.
FMO’s new sustainability policy can be found here.