Equator Principles Association Issues Due Diligence Guidance Note

(JD Supra, Sausalito, 23 August 2022) In July 2022, the Equator Principles Association published a Guidance Note on how to apply the latest iteration of the Equator Principles (EP), EP4, during the Environmental and Social Due Diligence (ESDD) process. The Guidance Note is significant because it addresses the changes to the pre-financial close ESDD required to be undertaken by Independent Environmental and Social Consultants (IESCs) under EP4, including with respect to projects located in Designated Countries that are no longer “deemed in compliance” with the Equator Principles solely by virtue of satisfying host country law. The E&S standards applied by export credit agencies (ECAs) and development finance institutions (DFI) do not generally distinguish between Designated Countries and Non-Designated Countries. As such, if ECAs or DFIs are involved in the financing of a project, then the scope of the IESC’s ESDD should be the same regardless of whether the project is located in a Designated Country or a Non-Designated Country.