Ethics

I. Corporate Social Responsibility
II. Corruption
III. Indebtedness


I. Corporate Social Responsibility

Apart from striving after economic and social gains (prosperity), Delcredere | Ducroire also considers the effects business are having on the environment (planet) and urges companies to have consideration for any local populations (people).

That is why Delcredere | Ducroire assesses the environmental and social impacts of all transactions for which applications of cover are received. It also verifies whether no human rights violations are implied. Delcredere | Ducroire takes into account the interests of both the civil society and the export community, with commercial confidentiality, quick decisions and a level playing field for competitors being prime concerns.

Context

OECD

The basis of the impact analysis is inspired by the OECD "Recommendation of the council on common approaches for officially supported exports credits and environmental and social due diligence (The "common approaches")". This Recommendation calls for environment-related requirements for export deals to qualify for export credit support from the OECD governments' Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). It requires these agencies to review projects for their potential environmental impacts and to benchmark them against international standards, such as those of the World Bank Group.

Delcredere | Ducroire has taken an active part in negotiations on the OECD Common Approaches. Based on the first text, which was approved in 2000, we elaborated an environmental policy that came into effect on 1 January 2002. The text was revised in 2003 and 2007 and the internal procedure was adapted accordingly.

Delcredere | Ducroire regularly exchanges information with other OECD Members to promote a global level playing field for officially supported export credits.

Environmental impacts are the project-related impacts on the environment which as a result of the construction and operation of the project. Social impacts are the project-related impacts on the local communities directly affected by the project and on the people involved in the construction and operation of the project; these social impacts encompass relevant adverse project-related human rights impacts.

According to the OECD Common Approaches, only projects, goods and services that are directly linked to export projects of which the credit period is 2 years or more are governed by these environmental rules. Delcredere | Ducroire has decided to extend the area of application for these rules and applies them, be it slightly modified, to special cash transactions and investments as well.

Exporters are encouraged to abide by the social standards mentioned in the OECD's "Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises", which is mainly about equal treatment, human rights and child labour.

The Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises contain a chapter on employment that encourages multinational enterprises to refrain from child labour and to avoid discrimination of all types.

Moreover, foreign contracts and projects help to foster the development of the host countries while strengthening our own economy.

Norms and standards

Delcredere | Ducroire makes an environmental and social assessment of projects in accordance with different international standards like the Performance Standards of the International Financial Corporation (IFC):

  • Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts (PS1);
  • Labor and Working Conditions (PS2);
  • Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention (PS3);
  • Community Health, Safety, and Security (PS4);
  • Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement (PS5);
  • Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources (PS6);
  • Indigenous Peoples (PS7);
  • and Cultural Heritage (PS8).

Environmental and social procedures

All applications submitted to Delcredere | Ducroire are located in a sensitive area are classified :

Category A : a project is classified as category A if it has the potential to have significant adverse environmental impacts. Category A, in principle, includes projects in sensitive sectors or located in or near sensitive areas.

Category B : a project is classified as category B if its potential environmental impacts are less adverse than those of category A projects. Typically, these impacts are site-specific, few if any of them are irreversible.

Category C : a project is classified as category C if it is likely to have minimal or no adverse environmental impacts.

Category E : a transaction is classified as category E if it relates to existing installations that are undergoing no material changes in output or function. (An existing installation that is undergoing material changes is classified as A, B or C, depending on the environmental impact).

Delcredere | Ducroire reviews not only the potential impacts of the projects but also the measures that can be taken to prevent, minimise, mitigate or remedy adverse impacts and/or to improve environmental and social performance of the projects.

Click here to learn more about Delcredere | Ducroire's environmental and social policy.

Assessed transactions

If a transaction is placed under category A, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and project details will be made available to the general public at least 30 days prior to the day the offer of cover or the insurance policy is issued. Delcredere | Ducroire requires the person or entity responsible for the EIA to publish it. As Delcredere | Ducroire does not perform these assessments itself, it is unable to provide insight itself.

Exceptions can be made if the EIA contains confidential information.

Click here to consult the history of transactions assessed
Click here to consult the history of transactions assessed during the current year

Issued policies

This section contains transactions in categories A and B where a policy has been issued.

Click here to consult the history of issued policies.
Click here to consult the list of issued policies.

II. Corruption

In their battle against corruption, the OECD member states agreed to a new recommendation in 2006. An Action Statement already applied to official export credit insurers, resulting from the OECD anti-corruption convention signed on 17 December 1997. The recommendation is a revised and strengthened version of that action statement.

The General Terms of Delcredere | Ducroire were adapted in accordance with the new OECD recommendation. They provide for several measures in case an insurance client is prosecuted or found guilty for corruption.

The insurance application form was complemented and the due diligence process was converted into a formal procedure.

The insurance application form now includes information on the current legislation. The insurance client must pledge to comply with these regulations by submitting a declaration as part of the insurance application procedure.

He must also state that his name does not appear on the debarment lists of certain international financial institutions and that nor he nor persons acting for his account have been prosecuted or convicted for acts of corruption.

In accordance with the due diligence procedure, the underwriter has the duty to probe insurance applications involving insured parties that have been debarred by an international financial institution for acts of corruption, that have been prosecuted or that have been convicted for corruption in the past.

In cases where an insured party has been found guilty of corruption in the last five years prior to the application, the underwriter has to check whether internal remedies and preventive measures have been taken before support can again be granted for an export credit.

The underwriter also has to check whether the exporter/applicant's name is on the World Bank's debarment list regarding corruption.

Finally, the underwriter has to examine all dossiers with equal prudence, including dossiers for account of any other insurer.

Delcredere | Ducroire is not allowed to grant support for a transaction if there is credible evidence for acts of corruption in awarding the export contract.

The executive committee and the board of directors have to report to the judicial authorities the information that has prompted a dossier to be rejected because of credible evidence for acts of corruption.

III. Indebtedness

Delcredere | Ducroire makes sure the indebtedness of poor under the HIPC initiative (Highly Indebted Poor Countries) does not to increase by only accepting projects for such countries if they constitute a priority for their economic development.

The decision not only results from a specific commitment but also from an initiative of the credit insurers within the OECD concerning unproductive expenditure. You can find information on this initiative on the OECD's web site.