Revision of Investment Policies
OPIC’s Environmental and Social Policy Statement (ESPS) ensures that the projects it supports are environmentally and socially sustainable. The statement was approved on January 13, 2017 after a two-year process of consultation and review. This revised policy reflects OPIC’s continued focus on the environmental and social performance of its portfolio and builds on the agency’s commitment to transparency and accountability. We as an agency view the environmental and social policies and performance of our portfolio as integral to the development impact that we strive to achieve with our work.
OPIC initiated the process of revising the ESPS in August 2015. Over the subsequent eight months, OPIC conducted a series of stakeholder meetings with OPIC staff, the business community, civil society and interested Federal Agencies. After consideration of comments and suggestions received through stakeholder meetings and written submissions, OPIC issued a draft revised ESPS on September 23, 2016 for public comment. During the 60 day public comment period, OPIC received 121 comments on the draft. The issues raised through stakeholder meetings and public comments actively informed key revisions to the policy. OPIC published management responses to the public comments received.
During the policy revision, OPIC hosted several meetings and invited recommendations from civil society, non-governmental organizations, and the business community. This engagement actively informed the proposed revisions, including:
- Incorporation of human rights risks more systematically into OPIC's social assessment. Those projects with the potential for significant social impacts can be designated as Special Consideration.
- Revision of the greenhouse gas (GHG) policy to incorporate the “netting” proposal for retrofitting power plants and fuel switching, provided life cycle GHG accounting demonstrates a net reduction in GHG emissions.
- Updated policies to employ “risk-based” project selection for site monitoring, and providing public disclosure of monitoring trip summaries to increase transparency.
- Greater emphasis on a "risk-based" approach to screen sub-projects originated by financial intermediaries such as funds or banks
OPIC will now proceed in updating its procedures to reflect changes in the guiding policies. In updating these procedures, we will consider the specific input received from our stakeholders during the ESPS revision process. The finalized updated procedures will also be made available on OPIC’s website.