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corporate social responsibility; Equator Principles; Equator Principles Association; multinational companies/business and human rights; project finance; reputational risk; sustainable finance


June 4th, 2013 marks the formal launch of the third generation of the Equator Principles (EP III) and the tenth anniversary of the EPs – enough reasons for evaluating the EPs initiative from an economic ethics and business ethics perspectives. In particular, this essay deals with the following questions: What are the EPs and where are they going? What has been achieved so far by the EPs? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the EPs? Which necessary reform steps need to be adopted in order to further strengthen the EPs framework? Can the EPs be regarded as a role-model in the field of sustainable finance and CSR? The paper is structured as follows: The first chapter defines the term EPs and introduces the keywords related to the EPs framework. The second chapter gives a brief overview of the history of the EPs. The third chapter discusses the Equator Principles Association, the governing, administering, and managing institution behind the EPs. The fourth chapter summarizes the main features and characteristics of the newly released third generation of the EPs. The fifth chapter critically evaluates the EP III from an economic ethics and business ethics perspectives. The paper concludes with a summary of the main findings.