Position Statement Chemicals and manufacturing

We remain committed to promoting sustainable practices in these sectors, while supporting economic growth and prosperity.

While the Group voluntarily adheres to these non-legally binding position statements, they reflect our aspiration to apply these principles consistently and to conduct our business with the highest standard of ethics and integrity. All staff are required to adhere to the position statements and endeavour to achieve these goals in line with our Group Code of Conduct and to live up to our brand promise of Here for good.

Applicable to

This position statement reflects the sector-specific criteria we assess our clients against when considering providing financial services to chemicals and manufacturing industries.

For the purposes of this position statement:

Chemicals refers to the manufacture and processing of chemicals.  This includes pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and agrochemicals. 

Manufacturing covers the manufacture of products, including cement, metals, plastics, rubber products, glass products, textiles and high technology. For manufacturing of the following products, refer to relevant position statements:

Our commitment

As a key part of our mission to be Here for good, we only provide financial services to clients who manage their environmental and social impacts responsibly. The sector-specific criteria in this position statement, along with those in the cross-sector requirements set out the standards we assess our clients against. 

We regularly engage with our clients to confirm that they’re aligned with our environmental and social requirements, and consult with industry experts to ensure these stay relevant and effective.

Chemicals and manufacturing

Where chemical and manufacturing operations have potential adverse environmental and social impacts and are located in countries which are not High Income OECD members, we use the following standards to assess the capability of our Corporate and Institutional Clients to manage these impacts:

  • The most recent IFC Performance Standards1
  • The IFC General Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines2
  • The IFC Industry Chemicals Sector Guidelines as applicable
  • The IFC Industry General Manufacturing Sector Guidelines as applicable

Where applicable, we will also look to the following industry best practices, guidelines and bodies to determine effective responses to risks faced by Corporate and Institutional Clients:

  • The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)
  • The Globally Harmonised System
  • The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety for GMOs3

We're aware that in some circumstances environmental and or social risks and impacts cannot be successfully mitigated. In the chemicals and manufacturing sector we will therefore restrict the provision of financial services Corporate and Institutional Banking, Commercial Banking, and Business Banking clients who:

  • Do not significantly impact upon, or have operations located within:
    • UNESCO4 World Heritage Sites
    • RAMSAR5 Wetlands, unless operations would result in ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity
  • Follow IFC Performance Standard 6 where operations impact upon Protected Areas or Critical Habitats
  • If they are involved in the export of hazardous waste, have the necessary permissions under applicable international conventions6
  • Adhere to host country regulations on the implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
  • Adhere to host country regulations on the Rotterdam Convention7 and the Stockholm Convention8
  • Do not produce or sell unbonded asbestos fibres, and follow the ILO Code of Practice on Safety in the use of bonded asbestos9

And to Corporate and Institutional Banking clients who:

  • Have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, an environmental and social management system which controls their specific risk exposure
  • Support the application of the Equator Principles10


  1. http://www.ifc.org/performancestandards
  2. http://www.ifc.org/ehsguidelines
  3. http://bch.cbd.int/protocol/
  4. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list
  5. https://www.ramsar.org/sites/default/files/documents/library/sitelist.pdf
  6. The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste (which applies globally except for the US), and where appropriate the Bamako Convention (for African countries that are party to it) and the Waigani Convention (for South Pacific countries that are party to it).
  7. The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
  8. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
  9. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_protect/@protrav/@safework/documents/normativeinstrument/wcms_107843.pdf
  10. http://www.equator-principles.com/

How we work with clients in sensitive sectors

View our other sector specific position statements, which we use to assess whether to provide financial services

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