While infrastructure projects represent real opportunities in terms of territorial and human development , international funders are subject to much higher environmental and social international requirements. Indeed, infrastructure mandates are directly correlated with environmental issues, which is why it is essential to place projects in a climate and human logic.  

the challenge

MEDEF International turned to Ksapa to propose the joint development of a white paper on the many challenges faced by companies regarding infrastructure projects financed by major international funders. The publication of this white pape aims to accelerate the transition of investors and companies towards responsible practices in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and by taking into account the environmental and social dimensions at the heart of their activities. It is a tool for awareness and learning that takes into account comapnies’ feedback and is shared with various international funding agencies (World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, development agencies). 

Through this cooperation, Ksapa brings its expertise so that companies and investors move towards a fair and sutainable transition. This sharing of knowledge and concrete solutions will help companies to change their business models for more resilient, inclusive, and efficient models through innovative and large-scale concrete solutions. 


To align investors and companies’ activities and portfolios with the SDG 2030 priorities, Ksapa has adopted a multi-step approach while considering the political dimension :

  1. Prioritization of 5 key issues based on a documentary review
  2. Providing expertise by proposing recommendations on available tools/methodologies and conducting interviews in collaboration with MEDEF International 
  3. Writing and proofreading of the white paper by Ksapa and MEDEF International 
  4. Restitution to the world Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and partners of the MEDEF International US office in Washington

In order to write the best white paper and cover all the human rights and climate issues, the working group, composed of Ksapa and MEDEF International, identified 5 main themes for this white paper : 

  1. Alignement of the components of the procurement process
  2. Integration of climate actions in public procurement, in particular by taking into account ESG and sustainability criteria
  3. Examination of company and subcontractor profiles 
  4. Incentives through monitoring and evaluation during the project implementaion phase 
  5. Consideration of the total cost for large civil engineering projects

After finalizing the white paper, Ksapa accompanied the client to a forum in Washington, D.C to submit it to the World Bank. The presentation was based on concrete examples and recommendations aligned with the “Toolkit on Sustainable Procurement” developed by the European International Contractors Association (EIC). 


The realization of this white paper allowed our client to identify the main issues encountered in the international market during large public infrastructure projects financed by development banks. This exercise highlights the fact that even though large European companies are less involved in major civil enginnering projectss financed by development banks, they possesss valuable expertise and knwo-how to contribute to sustainable development. Finally, this white paper argues for the next proposal from the European consortium concerning a a sustainable procurement toolkit for development banks to help them find ways to integrate quality and ESG criteria into calls for tenders. 

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Solène Renard