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    Equator Principles

    ANZ has adopted the Equator Principles, a set of voluntary standards designed to help banks identify and manage social and environmental risks associated with the direct financing of large infrastructure projects such as dams, mining and pipelines.

    What are they?

    The Equator Principles were first established in association with the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2003 and since then have been adopted by nearly 50 banks around the world, covering in excess of 85% of the global project finance market. The Principles were updated in mid 2006 to reflect the recent revision of the IFC's Performance Standards, on which the Principles are based.

    The Equator Principles are designed to have effect primarily in countries with developing legal frameworks. They have particular relevance to ANZ as we are a financier of projects in emerging Asian economies.

    By adopting the Equator Principles, ANZ has voluntarily committed to fund only new projects that can be developed and operated according to sound social and environmental standards. The Principles are now considered global best practice for ensuring applicable project finance proposals meet these standards.


    What the Principles require

    A project within the scope of the Equator Principles is evaluated against comprehensive international performance standards on issues such as labour and working conditions, natural resource management, pollution prevention, impacts on Indigenous people and community health and safety.

    Projects are categorised according to their degree of potential social and environmental impact into either A (high), B (medium) or C (low).

    Projects with a high social or environmental impact must consult with local communities about concerns those communities may have with the project and prepare a management and monitoring plan describing the actions needed to adequately mitigate the social and environmental risks of the project.

    ANZ is required under the Equator Principles to ensure these steps are carried out in collaboration with our clients.

    The Principles do not prescribe for a bank what projects it should be involved in and those it should avoid – that is ultimately the responsibility of the bank. They do however ensure the bank makes an informed decision, by requiring a thorough analysis of potential social and environmental impacts of a project and allowing where necessary, the use of independent technical experts.


    How ANZ is implementing the Principles

    ANZ formally adopted the Equator Principles in December 2006, and is progressively implementing them into our project finance operations around the globe throughout 2007.

    We already screen project finance proposals for potential social and environmental issues, and we are now ensuring the Equator Principles are incorporated to enhance these existing processes and decisions.

    A key component of the implementation is training of all staff involved in day-to-day lending and investment decisions to ensure those decisions reflect the requirements and intent of the Equator Principles. We are engaging external specialists to assist with this training and provide technical advice for our implementation of the Principles.


    How ANZ is going further

    The Equator Principles are limited in their scope to project finance deals over $10m in size and some requirements only apply to projects in developing countries.

    ANZ will comply with the Principles for all project finance proposals, regardless of their size, and apply the same Equator Principles standards to all projects in all countries.

    We are also analysing our existing portfolio of project finance deals against Equator Principles standards to address any social and environmental issues not previously identified and that we should be addressing.


    Reporting our progress

    We will report on the progress of our implementation of the Equator Principles, including numbers of transactions screened and how these transactions were categorised according to social and environmental impact, through our annual and interim Corporate Responsibility Reports and regular stakeholder communications.

    For more information about the Equator Principles, please go to


    Equator Principles Report – May 2007

    Since our adoption of the Equator Principles in December 2006, we have reviewed 7 new projects. Two of these projects were in developing or Non-High Income OECD countries. Four of the seven projects reviewed were financed.

    New projects reviewed since December 2006:
    Project classification Number of Projects Reviewed Number of Projects Financed
    Category A 5 3
    Category B 2 1
    Category C 0 0
    Total 7 4

    Location of projects reviewed:
    Projects in High Income OECD Countries (1) Projects Outside High Income OECD Countries (2)
    Category A 3 2
    Category B 2 0
    Category C 0 0
    Total 5 2

    (1) Australia and New Zealand
    (2) Asia Pacific

    Projects reviewed by sector:
    Agribusiness Infrastructure Natural Resources Energy
    Category A 0 0 3 2
    Category B 1 1 0 0
    Category C 0 0 0 0
    Total 1 1 3 2