Environmental and Social Framework

Environmental and Social Framework


The Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) enables the World Bank and Borrowers to better manage environmental and social risks of projects and to improve development outcomes. The ESF makes important advances in areas such as transparency, non-discrimination, public participation, and accountability – as well as biodiversity conservation and indigenous peoples, among others. This framework applies to all the bank financed projects as well as the industry in general.

How It Works

The tool sets out the Borrower s responsibilities for assessing, managing and monitoring environmental and social risks and impacts associated with each stage of a project supported by the Bank through Investment Project Financing, in order to achieve environmental and social outcomes consistent with the Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs).

Tool Outcome

An assessment of environmental and social risks and impacts of the project throughout the project life cycle in a systematic manner proportionate to the nature and scale of the project and the potential risks and impacts.

Sustainability Criteria

This framework is divided into ten principles:

  • Principle 1. Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts
  • Principle 2. Labor and Working Conditions
  • Principle 3. Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention and Management
  • Principle 4. Community Health and Safety
  • Principle 5. Land Acquisition, Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement
  • Principle 6. Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources
  • Principle 7. Indigenous Peoples/Sub-Saharan African Historically Undeserved Traditional Local Communities
  • Principle 8. Cultural Heritage
  • Principle 9. Financial Intermediaries
  • Principle 10. Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure

Additional Information

  • Users of the tool Project Team, Developers, Financial Institutions
  • Phase when the tool applies Finance, Prioritization, Planning, Design
  • Geographic application Not specified