Business and Society Review
© 2006 Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College. Published by Blackwell Publishing,350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA, and 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK.
Blackwell Publishing LtdOxford, UKBASRBusiness and Society Review0045-3609 © 2006 Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College1101Original ArticleBUSINESS and SOCIETY REVIEWWRIGHT AND RWABIZAMBUGA
Institutional Pressures,Corporate Reputation, and Voluntary Codes of Conduct: An Examination of theEquator Principles
CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT AND ALEXIS RWABIZAMBUGA
n recent years, changing public expectations have increasingly induced ﬁrms to publicly declare their commitments to integratinga wide variety of public interest concerns into their corporatepractices. In the United States and elsewhere, demands for ﬁrmsto demonstrate sound management and social awareness haveintensiﬁed after a series of corporate governance scandals that invited greater regulatory scrutiny and brought business ethics tothe fore of public policy.
Firms often seek to demonstrate their ethi-cal credentials and intentions by declaring support for industry- wide codes of conduct, deﬁned as “written statements of principleor policy intended to serve as the expression of a commitment to a particular enterprise conduct.”
Generally, these codes formulatehigh-level normative principles and deﬁne how adopting companiesshould interpret and implement these in the context of their busi-ness practices.
In the international project ﬁnance market, such a code referredto as the Equator Principles recently emerged, which stipulates why and how ﬁnancial institutions should consider environmental and
Christopher Wright is with the Department of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science, London. Alexis Rwabizambuga is with the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, London.