Founded in 1977, Proparco is the private sector financing arm of the Agence Française de Développement Group (AFD Group). It is one of the main European Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), with a share capital of EUR 984 million. Proparco provides funding and support for to both businesses and financial institutions in 115 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East with more than 400 employees. The key focus areas of Proparco are infrastructure, renewable energies, agribusiness, financial institutions, health and education.
In terms of female representation in leadership positions, Proparco has a gender-balanced board of directors where 44% of members are women. Moreover, the DFI describes its environmental, social and governance (ESG) monitoring as well as the number of clients it reviewed on their environmental and social (E&S) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. In terms of its approach towards impact management, Proparco acknowledges that its financing activities have both positive and negative impacts.
As a member of the European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) Group, Proparco has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. The DFI discloses that partner banks with exposure to the main emissive sectors have been identified as its priorities to engage with on climate change. Furthermore, Proparco discloses the aggregate amount of finance it devotes to climate, particularly financing with climate co-benefits and climate change adaptation which are aligned with the common principles for climate mitigation finance tracking. As part of the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) Group, Proparco aims at having at least 50% of annual commitments in foreign states devoted to financing projects with climate co-benefits.
Proparco has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights, protect personal data and prohibit bribery and corruption. It also relies on an independent complaints mechanism which raises concerns about bribery and corruption without fear of reprisals. Furthermore, Proparco describes the human rights due diligence process for identifying human rights risks and impacts in its financing activities. In addition, the DFI discloses the proportion of women in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category as well as the amount of finance it directs towards women-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises.
In terms of its approach to senior leadership accountability, there is no evidence in English that Proparco assigns responsibility for sustainability to the board of directors and that links the remuneration of its executive or management teams to sustainability performance criteria. Concerning its disclosure on gender topics, Proparco could provide evidence of a commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment covering its operations. In addition, it has an opportunity to disclose the proportion of women in senior leadership roles and actions it takes in order to address any gender pay gaps. There is no evidence that Proparco’s ESG client monitoring includes a framework with clearly defined escalation points. Also, it has an opportunity to publish case studies describing where it has engaged successfully and unsuccessfully with clients on ESG topics.
Proparco could disclose interim emissions reduction targets at the group level, such as a 45% reduction in financed emissions by 2030. Furthermore, there is no evidence that alignment with the Paris Agreement is one of Proparco’s engagement priorities with clients, and that it collectively engages with them on the topic. While the DFI discloses progress on climate financing, it could clarify how this relates to the annual target it has set. Although Proparco aims at protecting biodiversity, it has an opportunity to disclose a commitment to minimise its negative impact on biodiversity. Furthermore, Proparco has an opportunity to disclose the amount or share of finance linked to fossil fuel sectors.
Proparco discloses the age of its total employees but has an opportunity to disclose this information for each employee category. The DFI has an opportunity to establish a human rights grievance mechanism accessible to all stakeholders with the option to report anonymously, as there is no evidence that the mechanism it has in place accepts anonymous complaints. While Proparco discloses a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect the health and safety of workers, it has the opportunity to go beyond the legal requirements.