In 2019, the world’s largest banks invested USD 2.6 trillion in sectors driving deforestation, ecosystem and biodiversity loss and social conflict. However, financial institutions can change this by investing in responsible developments and financing on-site conservation of High Conservation Value areas.

Sustainable Development Goal 15 – Life on Land

Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.


commercial banks include the HCV Approach in their investment policies.

Financial institutions

Can use the HCV Approach to address environmental, social and governance risks.


Performance Standards and the HCV Approach closely align and can be used in conjunction.

The HCV Approach supports responsible investments.

The HCV Network engages with financial institutions to de-link investments from damage or destruction of High Conservation Values (HCVs) and to channel finance towards the protection of areas where HCVs have been identified and may be at risk from land-use change driven by agricultural expansion and other types of developments.

ASN Bank, AXXA Insurance, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank AG, Standard Chartered,
SEB, HSBC, Rabobank, Citi Group, Bank of America, ABN AMRO, JP Morgan Chase, Société Générale and Credit Suisse include the HCV Approach as a safeguard in their policies. Several of these policies specifically target investments in commodities such as cocoa, coffee, tea, cotton, pulp and paper, rubber, oil palm, soy, and sugarcane.

Get support

The Secretariat can:

  • Help financial institutions align HCV requirements with the Equator Principles and the
    International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards.
  • Provide quality assurance for HCV and HCV-HCSA assessments and Environmental Social
    Impact Assessments required prior to investment.
  • Develop tailored tools and procedures to identify and mitigate impacts on High Conservation
    Values from investments.
  • Link finance to areas harboring HCVs that need support for conservation.
  • Develop frameworks for systematically reporting on HCV policies.
  • Provide learning opportunities for financial institution staff on the HCV Approach.

For more information, please contact

Report Evaluations

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Complaints & Investigations

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