• Action Plan

    Mitigation measures and actions necessary for a company to comply with applicable laws and regulations and to meet the requirements of the applicable standards, including investor’s requirements. The Action Plan may range from a brief description of routine mitigation measures to a series of specific plans.

  • Affected community

    A local community that is subject to risks or impacts from a company’s operations/Projects.

  • Alternatives Analysis

    Analysis to examine feasible alternatives such as different Project locations, designs or operational processes, or alternative ways of dealing with environmental and social risks and impacts.

  • Associated facilities

    Facilities that are not operated or owned by a company, and whose viability and existence depend exclusively on a company’s operations or Projects and whose goods or services are essential for the successful operation of the company.


  • Biodiversity

    An integrating concept that includes the ecosystem within which the people of the world live and the multitude of species that are used by humankind for food, fibre, medicines, clothing and shelter. Biodiversity is the variety of life in all its forms and embraces genetic, species and ecosystem diversity.

  • Biodiversity Action Plan

    A process which assesses how a company’s activities affect biodiversity and renewable natural resources and how these impacts can be managed and (where necessary) mitigated. It also identifies responsibilities (internally and externally) and resources for management and mitigation.

  • Bonded labour

    Practice that forced labour is extracted by creating debt or other obligations not based on a valid and mutually beneficial economic purpose that must be worked off on terms that effectively prevent the worker’s exit from the work.

  • Bribe / Bribery

    A bribe is a payment made or received, directly or indirectly, financial or otherwise to obtain improper advantage. Common forms of bribery include cash, gifts, hospitality, political donations, charitable contributions, in-kind support, employment of relatives and the awarding of contracts to companies owned by officials or their relatives.

  • Business integrity

    A category of policies, procedures and systems which are designed to prevent financial crime, strengthen internal controls and ensure the fund manager or company only does business with reputable partners. It is typically used as an umbrella term for reputational screening, anti-corruption, whistleblowing, anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance efforts.


  • Chance find procedure

    A procedure that outlines what will happen if previously unknown heritage resources, particularly, archaeological resources, are encountered during Project construction or company operations. The procedure includes record keeping and expert verification, chain of custody instructions for movable finds, and clear criteria for potential temporary work stoppages that could be required for rapid disposition of issues related to the finds.

  • Child labour

    Work by children that is economically or likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. Refer to ILO Minimum Age Convention (No. 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182).

  • Cleaner production

    1) The concept of integrating pollution reduction into the production process and the design of a product. This involves continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes, products, and services in order to increase overall efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment through the conservation of raw materials, water and energy, and through the reduction or elimination of the use of toxic and hazardous raw materials.
    2) Taking advantage of renewable energy sources such as solar energy and geothermal resources.

  • Code of Responsible Investing

    The Code for Responsible Investing codifies BII’s commitment to responsible investing. The Code applies to BII’s funds and fund managers and to companies receiving investments from such funds, as well as to BII itself and the companies BII finances directly.

  • Collective bargaining

    Discussions and negotiations between employers and representatives of workers’ organisations for the purpose of determining working conditions and terms of employment by joint agreement. Collective bargaining also includes the implementation and administration of any agreements that may result from such discussions, and the resolution of other issues that arise in the employment relationship with respect to how workers are represented by the workers’ organisations.

  • Community engagement

    An ongoing process involving disclosure of information and consultation with affected communities, and the establishment of a grievance mechanism.

  • Compensation Framework

    Establishes the procedures for determining and awarding compensation. The compensation framework

    • 1) identifies all affected people;
    • 2) provides an inventory of affected assets;
    • 3) describes the methods applied for valuing land and other affected assets at full replacement costs;
    • 4) indicates the rates of compensation to be paid;
    • 5) outlines a schedule of land take and compensation payments; and
    • 6) describes the process whereby affected people can appeal property valuations they deem to be inadequate.
  • Consultation

    Consultation involves two-way communication between a company or investor and affected communities. The consultation process should be undertaken in a manner that is inclusive and culturally appropriate and should provide the affected communities with opportunities to express their views on risks, impacts and mitigation measures. The company should then consider and respond to them. A consultation process needs to ensure free, prior and informed consultation.

  • Corruption

    BII defines corruption as the offering, requesting, giving or receiving of a financial or other advantage in order to induce or reward the improper performance of a role, duty or function. Corrupt practices come in many different forms, including bribery, kickbacks, facilitation payments, embezzlement, fraud and extortion. Bribery and corruption is prohibited under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and considered a criminal offence in nearly every jurisdiction in the world.

  • Critical habitat

    A subset of both natural and modified natural habitat that includes areas with high biodiversity value. This includes habitats required for the survival of critically endangered or endangered species; areas having special significance for endemic or restricted-range species; sites that are critical for the survival of migratory species; areas supporting globally significant concentrations or numbers of individuals of congregatory species; areas with unique assemblages of species which are associated with key evolutionary processes or provide key ecosystem services; and areas having biodiversity of significant social, economic or cultural importance to local communities.

  • Critically endangered species and endangered species.

    Species that are under threat of extinction. See World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species: http://www.iucnredlist.org/

  • Cultural heritage

    A unique and non-renewable resource that possesses cultural, scientific, spiritual or religious value and includes: – Tangible cultural heritage: Moveable or immoveable objects, sites structures, groups of structures, natural features, or landscapes that have archaeological (prehistoric), paleontological, historical, cultural, artistic, and religious values, as well as unique natural environmental features that embody cultural values such as sacred groves. – Intangible cultural heritage: Cultural knowledge, innovations and practices of communities embodying traditional lifestyles.

  • Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA)

    A CIA identifies cumulative impacts in the project areas of influence and takes them into account in proposing mitigation measures.

  • Cumulative impacts

    The combination of multiple impacts from existing activities or Projects, the proposed Project, and/or anticipated future activities or Projects that may result in significant adverse and/or beneficial impacts that would not be expected in case of a stand-alone Project.

  • Customary use of land and resources

    Patterns of long-standing community land and resource use in accordance with Indigenous Peoples’ customary laws, values customs, and traditions, including seasonal or cyclical use, rather than formal legal title to land and resources issued by the state.

  • Cut-off date

    Date of completion of the census and assets of inventory of persons affected by the company’s activities/Project. Persons occupying the Project area after the cut-off date are not eligible for compensation and/or resettlement assistance. Similarly, fixed assets (such as built structures, crops, fruit trees and woodlots) established after the date of completion of the assets inventory, or an alternative mutually agreed on date, will not be compensated.


  • Discrimination in employment

    Any distinction, exclusion or preference with respect to recruitment, hiring, working conditions or terms of employment made on the basis of personal characteristics unrelated to inherent job requirements. An act that nullifies or impairs equality of opportunity or treatment related to employment.

  • Displaced persons

    People living in an area affected by a Project or company operation that must move to another location. Displaced persons can be classified as persons

    • 1) who have formal legal rights to the land they occupy;
    • 2) who do not have formal legal rights to land, but have a claim to land that is recognised or recognisable under the national laws; or
    • 3) who have no recognisable legal right or claim to the land they occupy.


  • Economic displacement

    Loss of assets or access to assets that leads to loss of income sources or means of livelihood.

  • Ecosystem services

    The benefits that people obtain from ecosystems including the provision of services (such as food, fibre, fresh water, fuel wood, biochemicals, genetic resources); the regulation of services (such as climate regulation, disease regulation, water regulation, water purification, degradation of pollutants, carbon sequestration and storage, nutrient cycling); and cultural services (such as spiritual and religious aspects, recreation and ecotourism, aesthetics, inspiration, educational values, sense of place, cultural heritage).

  • Emergency response plan

    A plan to address contingencies associated with process incidents and accidental circumstances. They include clearly assigned responsibilities for the assessment of the degree of risk to life and property and procedures on how and whom to inform about different types of emergencies.

  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)

    The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment report focuses on the significant issues of a project and predicts and assesses the Project’s likely positive and negative impacts, in quantitative terms to the extent possible. It examines global, transboundary and cumulative impacts as appropriate; and includes baseline data, alternatives analysis and a management programme.

  • Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS)

    Part of a company’s or fund manager’s overall management system. The environmental and social management system includes the organisational structure, responsibilities, policies, procedures and practices, and resources. A good management system enables continuous improvement of companies’ or fund managers’ environmental and social performance, and can lead to improved economic, financial, environmental and social outcomes.

  • Equal opportunity


    The principle of basing all employment decisions, such as hiring and promotion, on the ability of a person to perform the job in question, without regard to personal characteristics that are unrelated to the inherent job requirements.



  • Facilitation payments

    Facilitation payments (or speed payments) are bribes paid or received to facilitate or expedite the performance of a routine governmental action. They differ from outright bribes in that they are not for the purpose of obtaining or retaining an undue advantage, but rather in exchange for faster or improved access to services to which one is legally entitled. This practice is illegal in most countries.

  • Forced labour

    Any work or service not voluntarily performed that is exacted or coerced from a person under threat of force or penalty. Forced labour includes any kind of involuntary or compulsory labour, such as indentured labour, bonded labour or similar labour arrangements. Prison labour should also be considered forced labour unless the prison inmate volunteers for work assignments. As covered by the ILO Forced Labour Convention (No. 29) and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No. 105).

  • Free, Prior and Informed Consultation (FPIC)

    Consultation that is free of intimidation or coercion provides timely disclosure of information and is relevant, understandable and information is accessible. Consultation should not only occur during the early stages of a Project developed by a company. It should be an on-going process.

  • Full replacement cost

    Market value of assets plus transaction costs. Depreciation of structures and assets should not be taken into account.


  • Good International Industry Practice (GIIP)

    The exercise of professional skill, diligence prudence and foresight that would reasonably be expected from skilled and experienced professionals engaged in the same type of undertaking under the same or similar circumstances globally.

  • Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)

    The six greenhouse gases that form the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N20), Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

  • Grievance mechanism

    A mechanism:

    • 1) To receive and facilitate resolution of concerns and grievances about the company’s environmental and social performance.
    • 2) For workers (and their organisations, where they exist) to raise reasonable/fair workplace concerns.
    • 3) To receive and address specific concerns about compensation and relocation that are raised by displaced persons or members of host communities.


  • Hazardous waste

    Substances classified as hazardous waste possess at least one of four characteristics – ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity. Or such waste appears on special lists.

  • Human resources policy

    Statement of practices regarding management of employees. The statement contains, at a minimum, information on the employees’ rights under national labour and employment law.


  • In-kind compensation

    Compensation for losses that cannot be easily valued or compensated for in monetary terms. Compensation should be made in goods or resources that are of equivalent or greater value and that are culturally appropriate.

  • Indigenous Peoples (IP)

    Broadly defined as a distinct social and cultural group processing the following characteristics in varying degrees: (i) self-identification as members of a distinct indigenous cultural group and recognition of this identity by others; (ii) collective attachment to geographically distinct habitats or ancestral territories in the Project area and to the natural resources in these habitats and territories; (iii) customary cultural, economic, social, or political institutions that are separate from those of the dominant society or culture; and/or (iv) an indigenous language, often different from the official language of the country or region.

  • Informed participation

    Informed participation involves organised and iterative consultation, leading to the involvement of Affected Communities into decision-making processes. Their views should be included in matters that affect them directly, such as proposed mitigation measures, the sharing of development benefits and opportunities, and implementation issues.

  • Invasive alien species

    Non-native species of flora and fauna that are a significant threat to biodiversity due to their ability to spread rapidly and out-compete native species.

  • Involuntary resettlement

    Refers both to physical displacement and economic displacement as a result of a company- or Project- related land acquisition. Resettlement is considered involuntary when affected individuals or communities do not have the right to refuse land acquisition that results in displacement.


  • Kickback

    A kickback is a bribe where a portion of the undue advantage is returned or ‘kicked back’ to the person giving the advantage. Kickbacks are most common in procurement processes.


  • Legacy land

    For the purposes of this Toolkit, ‘legacy land’ includes concessions

    • (i) that are long established (a minimum of five years),
    • (ii) where the details of acquisition/lease arrangements and baseline socioeconomic conditions are uncertain,
    • (iii) where the ownership or lease has changed hands (so the current owners/lessees were not involved in the original contracts), and
    • (iv) where compensation arrangements for individuals and/or communities whose livelihoods were affected are uncertain or contested.
  • Legally protected areas

    Areas legally designated for the protection or conservation of biodiversity, including areas proposed by governments for such designation.

  • Local community

    Community within the Project’s/company’s area of influence.


  • Management programme

    A combination of operational policies, procedures and practices that provide a programme of mitigation and performance improvement measures and actions that address identified environmental and social risks and impacts.

  • Modified habitats

    Land and water areas where there has been apparent alteration of the natural habitat, often with the introduction of alien species of plants and animals.

  • Money laundering

    BII defines money laundering as the process by which the true origin and ownership of the proceeds of criminal activities are disguised in order to be used without suspicion.


  • Natural habitats

    Land and water areas where the biological communities are formed largely by native plant and animal species, and where human activity has not essentially modified the area’s primary ecological functions.


  • Occupational health and safety

    Refers to the range of endeavours aimed at protecting workers from injury or illness associated with exposure to hazards encountered in the workplace or related to the occupation.


  • Physical displacement

    Relocation, resettlement or loss of shelter.

  • Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)

    Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are people who hold or have held (during the previous year) prominent public positions, either domestically or internationally. PEPs include: 1) Head of state or government. 2) Senior politicians (e.g. Ministers and Deputy or Assistant Ministers). 3) Senior government, judicial or military officials. 4) Senior executives of state-owned corporations or important political party officials. 5) Members of Parliament. 6) Members of Supreme Courts, of constitutional courts, or of other high-level judicial bodies. 7) Members of courts of auditors or of the Boards of central banks. 8) Ambassadors, chargé d’affaires and high-ranking officers in the armed forces. 9) Members of the administrative, management or supervisory bodies of state-owned enterprises.

    The family members and close associates of PEPs should also be treated as PEPs.

  • Pollution

    Refers to both hazardous and non-hazardous pollutants in solid, liquid or gaseous forms, and is intended to include other forms of contamination such as nuisance odours, noise, vibration, radiation, electromagnetic energy and the creation of potential visual impacts including light.

  • Project

    Refers to a defined set of business activities and assets, including those where specific physical elements, aspects, and facilities likely to generate risks and impacts exist and those which are yet to be developed. Where applicable, this could include aspects from the early developmental stages through the entire life cycle (design, construction, commissioning, operation, decommissioning, closure or, where applicable, post-closure) of a physical asset.

  • Project’s area of influence

    The Project’s area of influence includes the primary project site(s) and related facilities that the company (including its contractors) develops or controls; associated facilities; areas potentially impacted by cumulative impacts associated with the company’s activities; and areas potentially affected by impacts from unplanned but predictable developments caused by the project that may occur later or at a different location. The area of influence does not include potential impacts that would occur t or independently of the company’s activities/Projects.

  • Public disclosure (also information disclosure)

    The process of providing information to Affected Communities and other stakeholders that is timely, accessible, understandable and in the appropriate language(s). For Projects with potential adverse impacts, information on the purpose, nature and scale of the Project, duration of proposed Project activities, and any potential risks to and impacts on such communities should be included.


  • Resettlement Action Plan

    The document in which a company or the responsible entity specifies the procedures that it will follow and the actions that it will take to mitigate adverse effects, compensate losses, and provide development benefits to persons and communities affected by an investment project.

  • Retrenchment

    The elimination of a significant number of employee positions or the dismissal or layoff of a significant number of employees by an employer.


  • Security of tenure

    Protection of resettled persons from forced evictions at resettlement sites.

  • Significant conversion or degradation of natural habitats

    The elimination or severe diminution of the integrity of a habitat caused by a major, long-term change in land or water use; or modification of a habitat that substantially reduces the habitat’s ability to viably maintain the population of its native species.


  • Terms of employment

    Terms of employment include wages and benefits, hours of work, overtime arrangements and overtime compensation. Also leave for illness, vacation, maternity or holiday.

  • Transboundary effects/impacts

    Impacts that extend to multiple countries, beyond the host country of the Project, but are not global in nature. Examples include air pollution that extends to multiple countries or pollution of international waterways.


  • Vulnerable groups (also disadvantaged groups)

    Individuals or groups within who could experience adverse impacts from the proposed Project or company’s activities more severely than others based on their vulnerable or disadvantaged status. This status may stem from an individual’s or group’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. In addition other factors should be considered such as gender, ethnicity, culture, sickness, physical or mental disability, poverty or economic disadvantage, and dependence on unique natural resources.


  • Whistleblowing

    BII defines whistleblowing as the reporting by staff or third parties to the company, investors or authorities, any knowledge or credible suspicion of attempted or actual misconduct, including corruption.

  • Worker

    Refers to employees of the company, as well as to certain types of non-employee workers.

  • Workers’ organisations

    Any organisation of workers for the purpose of furthering and defending their interests in regard to working conditions and terms of employment.

  • Working conditions

    Conditions in the workplace and treatment of workers. Conditions in the workplace include the physical environment, health and safety precautions and access to sanitary facilities. Treatment of workers includes disciplinary practices, reasons and process for termination of workers and respect for a worker’s personal dignity.