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ESG Viewpoint:
PwC Germany

# Interview with Johanna Kristina Wohlgemuth, Head of Sustainability for the Federal German Investment Guarantee Scheme at PwC Germany

# February 2024

1. RepRisk: Please provide a few details about your role at PwC Germany and the scope of work that you and your team are responsible for in the context of sustainability and investment guarantees.

Johanna Kristina Wohlgemuth: Investment Guarantees protect eligible German direct investments in developing countries and emerging economies against political risks. The Federal Government commissioned PwC to manage the Investment Guarantees. In my role, I am heading all sustainability related topics in our PwC team for the Investment Guarantee Scheme. This includes not only the development and implementation of our sustainability and climate strategies but also overviewing the day-to-day assessments being made regarding the environmental, social and human rights (ESHR) performance of projects seeking Federal Investment Guarantees.

2. RR: ESG, due diligence, and sustainability considerations are critical in your consultancy work. Can you elaborate on the specific factors that are most relevant to your projects at PwC, and how you ensure their integration into your decision-making processes?

JKW: Sustainability in its various dimensions is an essential aspect of foreign investment promotion by the Federal Republic of Germany. The Federal Government expects the projects benefitting from investment guarantees to adhere to relevant applicable ESHR standards. All projects seeking coverage undergo an eligibility assessment which include an in-depth analysis of the environmental, social, and human rights risks and consequences associated with these projects. To begin with, we check whether the investment requires an enhanced due diligence of ESHR aspects and which ones are particularly relevant. For this purpose, we screen for potential risks of the project to its biological, physical and social environment.

The minimum requirement for granting an investment guarantee is the fulfilment of the host country’s national standards. Investments with relevant ESHR risks are subject to a comprehensive review.

Our default benchmark are the provisions of the Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability of the International Finance Corporation and the sector-specific Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines of the World Bank Group relevant to the investment. 

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