24th September 2019, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, New York, United States | The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, the official global representative of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs), has announced its commitment to supporting sustainability practices in the Islamic financial services industry (IFSI).
In furthering this goal, it has established a dedicated Sustainability Working Group (SWG) from member institutions and stakeholders.
CIBAFI’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022 focuses on reinforcing the value proposition of Islamic finance, promoting sustainability and responsible business practices within the IFSI, and addressing the real concerns and challenges facing the industry.
Sustainable development within the global financial community is a key aim in CIBAFI’s current strategic direction. CIBAFI has started raising awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) by issuing publications in cooperation with the United Nations. CIBAFI’s briefing on “Islamic Finance & the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” and CIBAFI’s Global Islamic Bankers’ Survey (GIBS) 2019 Report, themed “Sustainability, Growth Drivers, and the Regulatory Challenge”, provided an overview of the UN SDGs and examined the contribution that Islamic banking is making towards sustainable development. The 2019 GIBS report also highlighted the current financing gap of the UN agenda, and presented the role of Islamic finance as an alternative mode of financing.
CIBAFI is taking action towards these objectives through its newly formed committee, the CIBAFI Sustainability Working Group (SWG), which aims to enhance the Environment, Social and Governance principles of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs). The Group comprises expert representatives from CIBAFI member institutions and other international stakeholder organisations with the purpose of guiding IFIs towards sustainable development while keeping instilled values of Islamic finance in their practices.
In the area of environmental responsibility, CIBAFI’s SWG is committed to addressing the issue of climate change by developing a measurement model which will be used by IFIs to monitor the carbon footprint of their investment portfolio. This initiative is aligned with CIBAFI strategic objectives to address and support global initiatives such as the Paris Agreement, and strives to reinforce the role of Islamic financial institutions in addressing global challenges such as reducing the risk and impact of climate change.
With the establishment of the SWG, CIBAFI will continue to support and initiate global best practices on sustainability and environmental responsibility that help Islamic financial institutions incorporate sustainability within their core businesses.
As a leading international organisation in supporting the Islamic financial services industry, CIBAFI seeks to ensure the attainment of inclusive and sustainable development for both present and future generations. CIBAFI continually supports the Islamic financial industry through specific activities and initiatives which promote growth, uphold ethical practices and Islamic finance values in all financial dealings and transactions, and facilitate cooperation between members and institutions of common interest.