Response to Fairfax Business Media regarding Phnom Penh Sugar
On Tuesday, 22 January 2014 Fairfax Business Media approached ANZ regarding concerns raised by Inclusive Development, a Cambodia-based NGO, about Phnom Penh Sugar, a client of ANZ Royal Bank in Cambodia.
The following comments were provided by ANZ to Fairfax Business Media:
ANZ cannot comment on the specifics of any customer relationship however we do take social and environmental concerns seriously throughout our business.
In relation to Phnom Penh Sugar, senior executives of our joint-venture bank in Cambodia, ANZ Royal Bank, met with Inclusive Development and members of the local community last weekend to hear directly about their concerns.
ANZ Royal has since requested that Phnom Penh Sugar has a direct dialogue with community leaders and it will continue to review the way the company addresses its social and environmental obligations.
Generally, ANZ’s approach is to review our client's social and environmental impact assessments and its plans to mitigate negative impacts identified. In some cases, we will appoint a technical expert to provide us with advice on a particular issue.
Where impacts are identified that are not consistent with ANZ’s policies, our aim is to be a positive force for engagement and for change. We believe this is a responsible approach bearing in mind that not all banks, particularly in Asia, are engaged on social and environmental matters.
Our employees are trained to identify social and environmental risks and to apply our 'sensitive sector' lending policies, which incorporate our approach to human rights.
Where we have found that a client does not meet our environmental and social standards and they are not willing to adapt their practices, ANZ has declined funding or exited the relationship.
We are aware that other parties in Cambodia have been engaged by the NGO Inclusive Development International and the local community about their concerns. This includes the Provincial Government and the EU Ambassador to Cambodia and we are continuing to carefully monitor the situation.
Further information on ANZ’s responsible lending policies can be found on anz.com.