Mr. Speaker, with respect to Export Development Canada’s, EDC’s, 2010 corporate social responsibility or CSR report and other commitments to social responsibility, the following is our response.
In response to (a), see http://www19.edc.ca/publications/2011/2010csr/english/9-1.shtml for the methodology EDC employs in its human rights assessments.
In response to (b), EDC’s human rights risk assessments continue to evolve, consistent with the commitments made in EDC’s statement on human rights. See http://www.edc.ca/EN/About-Us/Corporate-Social-Responsibility/Pages/business-ethics.aspx and the link in the box under the human rights section. Human rights assessments are being completed for all category A and category B projects in non-OECD countries that are reviewed under the environmental and social review directive.
In response to (c), EDC has disclosed information about its human rights assessment process, as detailed in our 2010 CSR report, available at: http://www19.edc.ca/publications/2011/2010csr/english/9-1.shtml.
In response to (d), as outlined in EDC’s disclosure policy, http://www.edc.ca/EN/About-Us/Disclosure/Documents/disclosure-policy.pdf, EDC will not disclose confidential information without the required consents of its customers. The Export Development Canada Act, section 24.3, precludes EDC from disclosing information obtained from its customers without the required consents or in accordance with the statutory circumstances where such disclosure can occur.
In accordance with EDC’s disclosure policy, EDC will disclose or seek to make available, as applicable, the following: aggregate information on its business volume for all of its signed insurance and financing support, as outlined in section D1; certain information on individual transactions related to its signed financing support, as outlined in section D2; and prior to signing, environmental impact information for projects classified as category A projects under EDC’s environmental review directive, as outlined in section D3.
In response to (e), though not explicitly defined within the environmental and social review directive, EDC uses the term “benchmark” to mean the process of comparing a company or project’s management of environmental and social impacts and risks to the best standards and practices for the industry in question. This process usually involves detailed review of the environmental and social assessment documentation and active consultation with the project company and/or the independent environmental and social consultant hired by the lenders to support the benchmarking exercise. Benchmarking or reviewing a project against the relevant IFC performance standards, or other comparable standards, is an iterative process.
In response to (f), the process for benchmarking projects by the environmental and social review directive is outlined on EDC’s website at http://www.edc.ca/EN/About-Us/Corporate-Social-Responsibility/Environment/Documents/project-review-booklet.pdf. See pages 3-6.
In response to (g), yes, a thorough review was completed before issuing a $1 billion line of credit to Vale Ltd. EDC’s due diligence typically looks at the borrower’s operations, including practices related to the company’s management of a wide range of environmental and social issues. This review covered the company’s international operations in Brazil, Canada, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, New Caledonia, Indonesia and Guatemala. EDC also reviews any human rights issues if the company has significant operations in a country that has been identified as potentially having a higher level of human rights risk. See http://www19.edc.ca/publications/2011/2010csr/english/9-1.shtml for a description of the country classification system.