The CSR approach of the AFD (French Development Agency) and Proparco

The French Development Agency group joined the Global Compact in 2004 and has been initiating a specific CSR policy since 2007. This approach has been analyzed by an independent auditor whose report serves as a support to elaborate an approach for the period 2013-2016

A first CSR report was realized in late 2012, classified B + according to the GRI standard; an evaluation by OEKOM (B-) of the AFD approach also expresses its relevance and places it in the platoon head of this German extra-financial rating agency.

The Board of Directors (BOD) of the AFD includes most of its stakeholders: parliamentarians and representatives of civil society (NGOs and independent experts) and company staff, as well as foreign dignitaries (of even for the BOD of Proparco, its subsidiary). Dialogue with stakeholders is also structured by specific tools: citizens’ dialogues, Partnership Committee, dialogue with NGOs. Almost all projects financed by the AFD are published on the agency website.

The charter of professional ethics has been reviewed and a rating of Financial Security was adopted by the BOD in 2012: money laundering and corruption are the targets of strengthened procedures and permanent controls which are more and more demanding.

The sustainable development approach is at the core of AFD activities: specific structures accompany and support project managers at the AFD. All Proparco projects are analyzed by the structure concerned. Proparco uses "performance standards" of the International Finance Corporation and AFD standards are inspired by those of the World Bank. Conventions include more and more suspensive clauses. In addition, 50% of commitments should be registered in the group’s "climate initiative".

The AFD supports the promotion of CSR among beneficiaries and in the countries where it intervenes, both in the projects through dialogues and by the application of specific provisions, but also by setting up specific funding (credit lines to banks for instance) and participating in conferences and events on the spot.

In the internal management of human resources, issues of health and protection of all staff members (implementation of pension systems and social protection for all since 2008, assessment study of psycho-social risk in 2012), of equality (agreement on parity between men and women in 2012, agreement on disability in 2013, driving seniors and preparation of an agreement on this matter) and skill planning management are priorities.

Targets for reducing water, paper and energy consumption, are followed for several years, a carbon footprint is being developed since 2008. An audit of waste management was conducted in 2012.

On the 14th of November 2012, seven workgroups with more than 100 agents (including a representative of the agencies and one of Proparco in each group) were set up to consider the issues and new commitments for 2013-2016 were to be presented to internal and external stakeholders and then proposed for validation to the Board of Directors on the 16th of May 2013. The ways of progress include procedures to strengthen dimensions of sustainable development in projects in order to assess their impact, reduce their negative effects and integrate international standards. It is also about better measuring the effects of projects on the development and improving dialogue with stakeholders, managing controversies and transparency of the company in accordance with its legal and banking framework.

Updated on: 01.03.13