Challenging voluntary CSR-initiatives – a case study on the effectiveness of the Equator Principles

The Equator Principles (EPs) are a voluntary and self-regulatory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative in the field of project finance. The EPs provide a number of principles to businesses to reduce the negati
The Equator Principles (EPs) are a voluntary and self-regulatory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative in the field of project finance. The EPs provide a number of principles to businesses to reduce the negative impacts of lending practices linked to environment-damaging projects. The paper argues that the actual impact of the EPs even now as revised version is still limited. This is due to their voluntary nature and their lack of adequate governance mechanisms, that is, enforcement, monitoring and sanctioning. With the help of RepRisk, which provides a database capturing third-party criticism as well as a company’s or project’s exposure to controversial socio-environmental issues, the paper evaluates the on-the-ground performances of the two ‘Equator banks’ Barclays and JPMorgan Chase and compares their performance with the one of the two non-Equator banks Deutsche Bank and UBS. The paper shows that the EPs do not have a substantial influence on the broader CSR-performance of multinational banks due to the EPs’ limited scope – focusing mainly on project finance – and the (still) existing various loopholes, grey areas and discretionary leeway. The paper also gives an overview of the main institutional shortcomings of the EPs and their association and discusses some potential reform steps which should be taken to further strengthen and ‘harden’ this ‘soft law’ EP-framework. The paper thus argues in favor of (more) mandatory and legally binding rules and standards at the transnational level to overcome the EPs’ ‘voluntariness bias’.
show moreshow less

Export metadata

  • Export Bibtex
  • Export RIS

Additional Services

    Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Metadaten
Author:Alicia Hennig, Manuel Wörsdörfer
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-381320
Parent Title (German):Normative orders working paper : Normative Orders, Cluster of Excellence at Goethe University Frankfurt, Main ; 2015,1
Series (Serial Number):Normative orders working paper : Normative Orders, Cluster of Excellence at Goethe University Frankfurt, Main (2015, 01)
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Working Paper
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2015/09/01
Year of first Publication:2015
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2015/09/01
Tag:Barclays; CSR; Deutsche Bank; Equator Principles; JPMorgan Chase
SWD-Keyword: UBS - Schweizerische Bankgesellschaft; Barclays Bank; CSR Europe; Deutsche Bank; JPMorgan Chase Bank
Pagenumber:56
Last Page:56
Note:
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Germany License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/de/deed.en_GB.
HeBIS PPN:365205621
Institutes:Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Exzellenzcluster Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Sozialwissenschaften
330 Wirtschaft
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung 3.0

$Rev: 11761 $