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Environment and social standards

Norfund has identified certain sectors and industries in which we do not invest. The Norfund Exclusion List provides an overview of these. The list has been coordinated with other European development finance institutions.

Investment opportunities that are not excluded by the list are made subject to further assessment according to the IFC’s environmental and social performance standards. These standards provide guidelines for the assessments that are undertaken during Norfund’s investment process, and they also contribute to holding the enterprises accountable in relation to a given set of standards.

The enterprise must adhere to national rules and legislation with regard to the environment and labour law. At the same time, the enterprises must commit to respecting and gradually implementing measures to raise their standards to the level defined by international standards for health, environment and safety. Norfund’s investments are based on the predominant standards within international project financing, which also serve as the basis for the Equator Principles used by commercial banks when financing projects.

Working methods

When Norfund invests directly in a banana plantation, a hydropower plant or a financial institution, investigations are undertaken that will result in the project being classified as having high, medium or low risk of producing negative effects on the environment or on social conditions. When Norfund invests through private equity funds, the type of enterprise, the sectors in which the fund intends to invest and the fund’s skills in handling social and environmental risks serve as the basis for the risk classification. In projects that have a high risk of producing a negative impact on their surroundings Norfund engages external experts to conduct consequence analyses in order to ensure compliance with the IFC standards.