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Environmental and Social Policies

When we provide governments with financing to invest in projects  such as building a road, connecting people to electricity, or treating waste water  we aim to ensure that the people and the environment are protected from potential adverse impacts. We do this through policies that identify, avoid, and minimize harm to people and the environment. These policies require the borrowing governments to address certain environmental and social risks in order to receive °IJʿ support for investment projects. We know from experience that including environmental and social considerations into project design and implementation improves development outcomes.

Safeguard Policies
The current environmental and social policies of the Bank are known as the "Safeguard Policies," the mechanism for addressing environmental and social issues in our project design, implementation and operation, and they provide a framework for consultation with communities and for public disclosure. Examples of these requirements include conducting and impact assessments, consulting with affected communities about potential project impacts, and restoring the livelihoods of displaced people.

Environmental and Social Framework
In August 2016, the °IJʿ adopted a new set of environment and social policies called the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF). As of October 1, 2018, the ESF applies to all new °IJʿ investment project financing. With existing projects continuing to apply the Safeguard Policies, the two systems will run in parallel for an estimated seven years.


The Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies

°IJʿs current environmental and social policies, consisting of our 11 Operational Policies.

Operational Policies

Bank Procedures










Performance Standards for Private Sector Projects Supported by IBRD/IDA - On June 26, 2012, the Board of Executive Directors approved adoption and application of °IJʿ Performance Standards to be used for Bank financing or support (e.g., Partial Risk Guarantees) which is destined to projects, or components thereof, that are owned, constructed, and/or operated by the private sector, in place of the °IJʿ environmental and social Safeguard Policies (R2012-0130;IDA/R2012-0161). 

Technical assistance for preparatory work for private sector engagement in Public-Private Partnerships would be eligible, as well as investment operations that include medium -or long-term management contracts, affermage/leases, privatizations, concessions, and projects within the Build-Own-Transfer (BOT) family.  Financial Intermediary lending also is a candidate, provided the Bank lending or guarantee to the financial intermediary is designated for subprojects implemented by the private sector or private parties.