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International Documents on Corporate Responsibility

Edited by Stephen Tully

International Documents on Corporate Responsibility includes the principal international, regional and national instruments drafted by intergovernmental organisations or states as well as codes of conduct formulated by industry associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations. The coverage includes the fields of human rights, international criminal and environmental law, labour standards, international trade, armed conflict, sustainable development, corruption, consumer protection and corporate governance. Each document is accompanied by a brief explanatory commentary outlining the historical origins of the instrument, the principal actors involved, controversial negotiation issues, applicable implementation procedure, and identifies further reference material.
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Chapter 78: UNEP: Statement by Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development, 1992 (revised 1997)


Commentary: UNEP has collaborated closely with industry to develop environmental management strategies since its inception at the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. This Bank Statement was launched in New York during 1992 in the run-up to UNCED and by 2002 had been endorsed by 197 banks from more than 50 States. Participants commit themselves to integrating sustainable development into all operational and service aspects, supporting a precautionary approach to environmental management, recognising that environmental risks identification and quantification should be part of risk management and pursuing best environmental practice. The Financial Institutions Initiative ( conducts roundtable sessions, holds annual general meetings and produces fact sheets, discussion papers, surveys, reports and newsletters: see, for example, UNEP Finance Initiative (2004), ‘The Materiality of Social, Environmental and Corporate Governance Issues to Equity Pricing’, Geneva. See further, UNEP (1995), ‘Report of UNEP Advisory Group Meeting on Commercial Banks and the Environment’, Geneva; UNEP (1998), ‘Voluntary Industry Codes of Conduct for the Environment’, Technical Report No 40, Paris. See also the Equator Principles developed in 2003 by financial institutions under the auspices of the International Finance Corporation (http://equatorprinciples.ifc. org/ifcext/equatorprinciples.nsf). 1. Commitment to sustainable development 1.1 We regard sustainable development as a fundamental aspect of sound business management. 1.2 We believe that sustainable development can best be achieved by allowing markets to work within an appropriate framework of cost-efficient regulations and economic instruments. Governments in all countries have a leadership role in establishing and enforcing long-term common environmental priorities and values. 1.3...

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