Our Social Responsibility

The Corporate Social Responsibility approach is vital for AFD Group. It entails high demands concerning social matters, the environment, ethics, respect for human rights, the fight against corruption, and transparency.
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Since 2005, AFD has been developing and implementing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach, in both its internal operations and its financing. For the 2018–2022 period, AFD Group has adopted a new social responsibility policy that comprehensively covers all of its direct and indirect impacts.

Our CSR Policy

our social responsibility, Kochi metro, India, woman

In 2018, AFD Group adopted a new social responsibility policy for the 2018–2022 period. This policy covers its direct and indirect impacts comprehensively.
AFD publishes an annual CSR report to communicate on this approach and its outcomes and to improve dialogue with its partners on the topic.

This report applies the technical guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI4), ISO 26000, Global Compact, and the French law on transparency obligations for enterprises in social, environmental, and societal matters.

Transparency and dialogue

Transparency and dialogue, AFD Group

Supporting sustainable projects with strong impacts for populations involves submitting results to the judgments and opinions of all stakeholders. Informing, conducting dialogue and providing responses are consequently among the pillars of the AFD Group.

AFD’s adoption of a transparency policy aims to meet the increasing demand expressed by public opinion and civil society actors to be better informed about the strategy, objectives and results of French Official Development Assistance. As an institution with a public service mission, AFD has committed to being accountable for its activities by making institutional, strategic and operational information available on its website. It also involves raising awareness and giving an understanding of our vision, our mandates and our actions. 

Furthermore, AFD sets an environmental and social complaints mechanism in order to strengthen the transparency and accountability of AFD-funded projects and operations.
 

E&S Complaints Mechanism

Any person or group of persons affected by an AFD-funded project from an environmental or social perspective can submit a complaint via the Complaints Mechanism.

Once the complaint has been submitted, it is registered by the mechanism’s Secretariat, under the supervision of AFD’s Ethics Advisor. A panel of independent experts decides whether it is eligible and, if so, deals with the complaint.

Thanks to this mechanism, AFD has strengthened the environmental and social monitoring of the projects it finances, with the aim of enhancing transparency and accountability towards its partners.
 

Combating corruption

Combatting corruption, AFD Group

As a stakeholder in the French government’s public policy on solidarity and sustainable investment for developing and emerging countries and France’s Overseas Territories, AFD Group pays particular attention to ensure that its financing is properly allocated and that such funds are used for their intended purpose. The Group promotes the highest norms and standards of integrity: fair business practices, financial transparency and zero tolerance towards fraud and corruption.
 

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ANALYSIS & OPINION MECHANISM

our social responsibility, Mexico, nature

AFD’s Sustainable Development Analysis and Opinion Mechanism was created as part of the Group’s 2018–2022 Strategy, whose aim is to make sustainable development a shared point of reference for AFD’s operational activities. The mechanism, which underwent a pilot phase in 2013 and has been fully operational since 2014, is a response to AFD Group’s CSR commitments.

The purpose of the mechanism is to facilitate horizontal consideration within AFD of sustainable-development issues in the operations we finance. It includes the following:

  • An analysis of project impact on the various dimensions of sustainable development, carried out by the teams in charge of identifying and examining those projects. This ex-ante analysis, which uses a qualitative approach, incorporates the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on the climate.
  • A “sustainable-development opinion” made by an entity independent from the Operations Department, with the purpose of clarifying the decision made by the AFD bodies. A sustainable-development opinion is given for all AFD operations, with the exception of global budget support, operations of small amounts (less than €1.5 million in grants or €5 million in loans) guarantees, and fund delegation without AFD cofinancing.

The Sustainable Development Analysis and Opinion Mechanism is also a tool for dialogue in the process of working out projects. By involving the project counterparts, it seeks to stimulate questioning and help ensure that the impacts that projects may have on sustainable development are taken into account as far upstream as possible.