While environmental and social risks are complex, their understanding is key to the broader bankability analysis of prospects. Over the years, we have worked with multilateral financial institutions, export credit agencies and niche private equity houses to help them better understand the potential risks and opportunities of investments. Whether resilience against climate change, resource efficiency improvements, human rights risks in supply chains or optimising the social value and outcomes during project implementation.
We can also assist with the assessment of human rights and modern slavery risks, on both a portfolio and project scale, and are fully conversant in international practice and policy requirements. We draw on this, together with our understanding of imminent policy trends, to provide Future Ready advice that will ensure your project is resilient now, and in the future.
The importance of information disclosure, stakeholder engagement and ‘Free, Prior, Informed Consent’ of ‘project affected persons’ cannot be underestimated. The ability to better understand how projects interface with stakeholder groups can greatly improve the outcomes for local communities.
We have seen many projects become delayed – or worse, abandoned – due to stakeholder objections, poor management of impacts, or engagement processes which fail to tailor approaches to different groups. These delays are a particular risk when operating in geographies where planning and consenting institutions may be under-resourced, or cultural norms do not support comprehensive stakeholder consultation.
We provide a broad range of stakeholder-facing services, ranging from socio-economic baselining, through to stakeholder focus groups and engagement planning.
Land acquisition, resettlement and economic displacement management
Land acquisition, resettlement and economic impacts can present life-changing impacts for affected stakeholders. In many projects, land impacts and disruption to livelihoods can be a cause of unrest and opposition to projects.
These risks can be further complicated where land acquisition has been completed historically, but either resettlement has been delayed or the land acquisition process not completed with international standards.
Our team provide expert advice in how these aspects can be identified, understood, mitigated and monitored.
Project impacts and benefits can be gender sensitive. This means women may find it harder to cope with certain impacts or access opportunities, particularly where legal process and cultural or traditional norms do not provide men and women with the same equivalent rights.
Land rights and ownership is a key example of such an inequity, which could affect any project where land acquisition is required. Most international financial institutions have now developed gender specific policies and toolkits to better understand potential impacts and integrate measures to help tackle gender inequalities.
Our gender specialists can help you navigate these provisions, provide support to projects in understanding gender-related issues and respond to the sensitivities identified.
Human rights due diligence
Human rights due diligence is a risk management tool. The concept originates from the United Nations Guiding Principles, and the purpose is both clear and preventative; to avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts on people, environment and society.
In comparison to more traditional due diligence, human rights due diligence focuses on the impact to people, and not the organisation. Whilst human rights due diligence focuses on the benefit and impact to people, organisations who align and implement can expect to see increased resilience to changing environmental and social circumstances, along with reputational recognition and increased social license to operate.
Our team have a proven track record supporting organisations with human rights due diligence, assessment and compliance.
They will help you develop your organisations approach to the human rights due diligence process, undertake impacts assessments and provide support and consultation as you and your organisation evolve your human rights strategy, take a look at our guide to find out more.