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5 February 2009.

IFU HAS STRENGTHENED CSR POLICY

IFU and IØ have adopted a new CSR policy in order to make the current CSR guidelines more user friendly for the many companies that IFU and IØ invest in worldwide. The focus on climate has also been increased.

The aim of IFU and IØ is to invest in projects that are sustainable and promote environmentally and socially responsible development. Consequently, the Funds prepared their first CSR policy in 2005. This policy has now been revised.

– Our CSR policy has shown positive results. But the social responsibility of companies is a dynamic process, during which we need to develop and improve our efforts. Therefore we have decided to revise our CSR policy, says Managing Director Finn Jønck.

The Funds wish to be an important source of finance when it comes to climate investments in developing countries. The climate policy has therefore been strengthened in the CSR policy. Companies are encouraged to increase focus on their impact on the climate, e.g. by having an energy check and assessing the possibilities of investing in new technology to reduce CO2 emissions.

– Climate is an important challenge, and it is necessary for the companies we invest in to consider how they affect the climate. It is a natural conclusion that climate is now emphasized more in our CSR policy, says Finn Jønck.

Revising the CSR policy also means that while a number of conventions were only referred to before, demands are now explained more directly. It makes it easier for the users to put the principles into practice.

– Culture and knowledge about CSR vary a lot in the developing countries. It is therefore our experience that we need to communicate our demands and expectations more clearly to make it easier for the companies to carry them out. We hope the new CSR policy will contribute to that, says Head of CSR Birgitte Bang Nielsen.

Last summer, IFU/IØ signed the UN Global Compact, listing ten principles about human rights, labour rights, environment and anti-corruption, which the organisations and companies signing up to Global Compact commit to follow.

– Signing Global Compact means that we have access to a wide international network. On one hand we can impact development, and on the other hand we can find cooperative partners in the countries where we invest. This will strengthen our CSR work even further, says Birgitte Bang Nielsen.

Adhering to the principles of the CSR policy is not the only demand from IFU and IØ. Project companies are encouraged to prepare a CSR policy, determining the level of ambition and the framework for their CSR activities, and in order to ensure continued improvements, we recommend that the companies make objectives for their activities. The project companies should be able to predict the interests of their stakeholders to ensure their legitimacy/license to operate and to follow the development within good ethical behaviour. This practice has been maintained in the new CSR policy.

– Our CSR policy is not just window dressing. We make a number of specific demands about action plans, follow-up and reporting to make sure that the process is under control, and that CSR is viewed as an important task by the management, says Birgitte Bang Nielsen.

Read more about the Funds’ CSR policy here.

For further information, please contact Head of CSR Birgitte Bang Nielsen, tel +45 33 63 75 26