Domestic and international regulations require OeKB to ensure projects fulfil environmental and social criteria.

Committed to the OECD “Common Approaches”

The OECD countries have committed themselves to considering environmental and social impacts on officially supported export credits within the scope of the “Common Approaches”. The social impacts include project-related human rights issues, such as the protection of cultural assets, involuntary resettlement, effects on indigenous peoples, as well as forced labour and child labour.

The “Common Approaches” apply to export transactions with an officially supported export guarantee with a repayment term of two years or longer.

Common goals

The goal of the application of the “Common Approaches” is to heighten awareness of the environmental and social aspects in the buyer countries. The “Common Approaches” are intended to harmonise the environmental and social assessment procedures of all Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) to avoid distortions of competition. This ensures that ECAs from OECD countries operate under the same competitive conditions (with a level playing field).

OECD Common Approaches 2024

OeKB's environmental and social assessment procedure

In addition to the OECD “Common Approaches”, we are also committed to the Sustainability Strategy of the Export Promotion Procedure. Pursuant to the Austrian guidelines, we also consider positive impacts on the environment and society in the overall assessment of the project.

The "Sustainability Strategy of the Export Promotion Procedure" of the Federal Ministry of Finance is based on a "two-pillar approach":

Pillar 1 – Incentivize sustainable projects

The first pillar consists of instruments to incentivize sustainable projects. More favorable financing conditions are offered for projects in the areas of renewable energies, energy efficiency or combating environmental pollution. This is done with existing financing instruments such as Exportinvest Green, Exportinvest Green Energy and other green products.

Pillar 2 – End covering fossil fuel projects

The second pillar provides for the end of covering for projects in the field of fossil fuels coal, oil and natural gas. From January 1, 2025, the assumption of liability for projects in this area will be ended according to a multi-stage exit plan. This affects projects along the entire value chain, from mining and extraction to transport, processing and power generation using thermal power plants.

This two-pillar approach is intended to promote both climate change mitigation efforts and climate change adaptation. The "Sustainability Strategy of the Export Promotion Procedure" can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance: Export Liability Procedure

Social responsibility
International Framework

In the course of a general OeKB assessment procedure, we also pay attention to the environmentally and socially relevant criteria before approving an application. To this end, we contact the relevant exporters and banks. If necessary, we request detailed external expert reports.

The OeKB environmental and social assessment procedure is a multi-stage procedure which begins with a screening that classifies a project as Type I or Type II.

The Austrian environmental and social assessment procedure

When screening the applications, we decide whether environmental and social assessment procedures are required, and if so, which.
When screening the applications, we decide whether environmental and social assessment procedures are required, and if so, which.

Key information

We have compiled key information on the environmental and social assessment procedure for you.

Information on the Austrian environmental and social assessment procedure

Key information on the Austrian environmental and social assessment procedure (short version)
 

Type I environmental and social assessment in accordance with the “Common Approaches”

If your project is classified as a Type I, according to the “Common Approaches”, we are required to evaluate environmental and social standards in accordance with a set procedure. The projects are divided into four categories: Category A, Category B, Category C and existing operations. This classification determines how extensive the assessment will be.

The classification decides how extensively the project will be checked before a guarantee commitment can be made.
The classification decides how extensively the project will be checked before a guarantee commitment can be made.

Type II audit: “Watchful Eye” principle

Projects with a repayment term of less than two years and an order value of less than €10 million do not come under the OECD “Common Approaches”. However, if environmental and social consequences are expected, we will evaluate these projects using a Type II assessment in accordance with the “Watchful Eye” principle.

The Type II environmental and social audit is performed in accordance with the “Watchful Eye” principle.
The Type II environmental and social audit is performed in accordance with the “Watchful Eye” principle.

Standardised questionnaire to collect information on the project

Depending on the nature of the project, our export service team may ask you to complete and submit an environmental and social aspects questionnaire. Our completion guide will help you with this:

Completion guide for questionnaires

If you have any questions, please contact projektanalysen@oekb.at

Environmental and social questionnaire by sector

Questionnaire for the iron and steel sector

Questionnaire for the thermal power plant sector

Questionnaire for the dam and hydropower sector

Questionnaire for the pulp and paper sector

All other sectors

Environmental and social questionnaire

Transparent procedure

In accordance with the “Common Approaches”, we publish information on Category A projects on our website at least 30 days before final commitment. We present Category A and B projects on the OeKB website after final commitment.

Projects before final commitment

Projects after final commitment

You can find detailed information on the OECD regulations regarding export guarantees, and all versions of the “Common Approaches” since 2003 on the OECD website, under the links provided below. 

Information and news on OECD “Export Credits”

Current and historical OECD “Common Approaches”