Case Study

WestLB (C): A change in direction

5 pages
November 2011
Reference: IMD-1-0317

Growing political pressure combined with industry-wide changes compelled WestLB to alter its approach to project financing. The C-case tracks the decision-making processes in the bank that resulted in action on three fronts: (1) participation in the development of the Equator Principles: (2) the creation of an internal sustainability department and (3) the implementation of an open forum for dialogue with NGOs. The OCP pipeline was completed and began transporting oil from the Ecuadorian Amazon to the Pacific coast. Since the pipeline route passes through geologically unstable terrain subject to earthquakes, landslides and volcanic activity, protestors had predicted oil spills. In 2009 a mudslide caused a rupture in the pipeline and oil spill in the Santa Rosa river. NGOs working on the field and OCP officials disagreed over the amount of oil spilled, the efficiency of the cleanup process and the long-term damages to the environment and communities living in the area. Relations between WestLB and NGOs improved with the open forums for dialogue. However there are still strong differences of opinion on the pipeline project between WestLB and OCP on the one hand and NGOs and sustainability campaigners on the other hand.

Learning Objective

Integrating environmental and social, as well as economic, issues into strategic decision-making and building trust and communicating with diverse stakeholder groups.

Project Financing, Non-Governmental Organization Campaign, Financial Services
Field Research
© 2011
Available Languages
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