Stakeholder engagement

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Stakeholder Engagement

We actively engage with our stakeholders to improve our decision-making and accountability.

Our clients, the State of the Netherlands, shareholders, employees, investors, NGOs, supervisors and regulators are among our most important stakeholders.

Engagement can take various forms, from day-to-day, business-as-usual engagement to more strategic and planned engagements, such as regular meetings, surveys, forums and stakeholder dialogues.

Local stakeholders

As a development bank, we are sensitive of the social circumstances and environment in which we are active. The companies and projects we invest in have an important impact on local communities and society at large. Therefore, we integrate stakeholder considerations and information, based on a meaningful consultation with stakeholders (including affected communities, in line with the IFC Performance Standards), in investment and we monitor if decisions will further contribute to the quality and positive impact of FMO’s investments, as well as ensure community support. This is also described in our sustainability policy.

We have implemented an early disclosure of potential investments mechanism that allows interested parties to provide feedback on the environmental, social and governance aspects of our projects before contracting. We publish early disclosure of potential investments on our world map.

Human rights defenders approach 

FMO recognizes the responsibility of the private sector to respect human rights as elaborated in our Position Statement on Human Rights. The ability of local communities, civil society and other stakeholders to engage freely with FMO and FMO’s clients is an important part of this. We recognize their role in optimizing the development outcomes of our activities, including the expression of concerns and dissenting voices. We do not tolerate any activity by our clients that amounts to the oppression of, violence towards, or any other violation of the human rights of those who voice their opinion in relation to FMO activities and the activities of our clients.

We apply our human rights defender approach upon receipt of signals that individuals face violence or persecution threats because of their engagement in an activity financed by us or considered for financing by us. Such individuals can be environmental and human rights defenders, project opponents and other critics e.g. journalists, academics, union leaders, referred to collectively as human rights defenders. In responding to such signals, and in handling information received, FMO applies the principles of personal safety and conflict resolution between parties. We may reach out to the Dutch Government, experts and civil society organizations with the aim of contextual risk analysis and reducing risks to personal safety of targeted individuals.

FMO can be contacted by those who want to convey, in good faith, their concerns, allegations or any information indicating the oppression of, or violence towards, or persecution threats against individuals, because of their engagement with projects or activities financed by FMO or considered for financing by FMO. Please contact us via email

Public consultations

We invite stakeholders to give their views on new policies and position statements that guide our investment process and decision-making. For example, in 2016, we developed a comprehensive sustainability policy, taking into account more than 300 comments from various parties from society, government and clients. We are active participants in a number of multi-stakeholder dialogues and the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement.

Complaints mechanism

Together with DEG, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH and the French Development Finance Institution Proparco, we have an independent complaints mechanism for project-related complaints. General complaints are handled by our Complaints Office.

We also have a Speak up policy that provides a platform for FMO (temporary) employees and any party with whom FMO has or has had some type of relationship (such as business partners, suppliers, shareholders, customers) to raise a concern about possible misconduct within FMO or its subsidiaries.//