Protection of the environment and resources and the social compatibility of the projects financed by OeEB are fundamental principles that govern our actions. This is the only way to fundamentally improve the living conditions of people in developing countries and emerging markets over the long term. We only get involved in projects if the project partners endorse these criteria.

We keep an eye on long-term ecological and social development.

In addition to adherence to local and national environmental and social regulations of the respective country, we also strive for the adoption of international environmental, social, and human rights standards when financing projects. If necessary, we create a catalogue of measures in the form of an action plan, which then becomes a binding condition as part of the loan agreement. Adherence to environmental and social standards is verified at regular intervals over the course of the project.

The E&S categorization reflects the assessment of the potential environmental and social risks of the financed business activities, resulting from potential negative environmental and social impacts. This also takes into account potential contextual risks related to e.g. industry sectors and geographic regions. The E&S risk category does not take into account how well the client manages those risks, its role is to look solely at magnitude of potential negative impacts and risks.

  • For Direct Investments the category levels A, B+, B or C (respectively high, medium-high, medium-low and low risk) are used. These result from the combination of specific criteria, including e.g. industry sector, country context, supply chain issues and presence of vulnerable groups.
  • For Financial Intermediaries (banks, funds) the categorization depends on the profile of E&S risks in the institutions’ portfolio. Category levels FI-A, FI-B and FI-C (respectively high, medium, low risk) are applied.

This category determines the necessary depth of the E&S due diligence, the allocation of specific E&S resources and the environmental and social requirements to be fulfilled by the client, the idea being: The higher the risk, the more scrutiny is applied in the due diligence and monitoring process and the more stringent the E&S requirements will be.

We adhere to high international environmental, social and human rights standards.

With our investments, we aim to improve living conditions in developing countries. The environmental and social standards agreed upon by EDFI, the Association of European Development Finance Institutions, serve as our fundamental benchmark. 

We use the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability (IFC Performance Standards) and the World Bank Group Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines (EHS Guidelines) as our primary environmental and social standards.

In addition, and in accordance with and the Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy, we are committed to uphold international human rights standards as set out in the International Bill of Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the ILO Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the ILO Conventions on Hours of Work, Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery, Minimum Wage Fixing and Occupational Safety and Health as well as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises

We invest in accordance with responsible tax standards.

Tax revenues are an important driver of economic development. Our Position on Tax Good Governance, Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism describes how we assess and promote tax responsibility of the projects we finance. Our tax policy is aligned with the EDFI Principles for Responsible Tax in Developing Countries.