10th May 2021, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain | The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), the global umbrella of Islamic financial institutions held today a Virtual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainability Guide for Islamic Banking Industry.
CIBAFI reinforces its commitment to support sustainability and responsible business practices within the Islamic financial service industry (IFSI). This roundtable meeting brought together international prominent experts in leading organisations to discuss different aspects of developing CIBAFI Sustainability Guide for the Islamic banking industry. The closed meeting was attended by CIBAFI Sustainability Working Group (SWG) members, regulators, and international industry experts.
CIBAFI Secretary General, Dr. Abdelilah Belatik inaugurated the discussions by welcoming the distinguished speakers and participants of the Roundtable Meeting. In his opening speech, Dr. Belatik stressed on the growing importance of sustainability within the Islamic financial services industry and how CIBAFI is taking part to help Islamic banks integrate sustainability within their strategies and operational activities.
During the meeting, the speakers discussed the key focal areas and related challenges in developing CIBAFI Sustainability Guide. The participants also highlighted the latest trends and best practices in implementing sustainability and value-based guidelines, including success factors in sustainability practices. The Roundtable Meeting was divided into four sessions focusing on sustainability integration, governance, reporting and impact assessment and monitoring and market acceptance. The sessions specifically discussed how institutions integrate sustainability within their strategies and provided insights into governance role in implementing these strategies across business activities, ensuring overall accountability. Lastly, the meeting provided an overview of sustainability reporting standards and impact assessment practices as well as monitoring frameworks and strategies within the existing global sustainability guidelines and practices.
The meeting sessions were moderated by Professor Mehmet Asutay, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Political Economy & Finance, Durham University Business School, England, and Dr. Dalal Aassouli, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar. Among the industry experts who shared their insights during the sessions were Mr. Martin Rohner, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), Netherlands; Mr. Marco Van Der Ree, Chief Development Officer, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Netherlands; Dr. Ali Adnan Ibrahim, First Vice President - Head of Social & Sustainable Finance, Al Baraka Banking Group, Bahrain; Mr. Rafee Haneef, Group Chief Sustainability Officer, CIMB Group, Malaysia; Mr. Pietro Bertazzi, Global Director Policy Engagement - Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), CDP Global, Netherlands; Dr. Philipp Wackerbeck, Partner, Strategy& Germany; Ms. Johanna Dicht, Sustainability Expert & Implementation Support Manager, United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Switzerland; and Dr. Adriana Kocornik-Mina, Senior Manager of Metrics and Research, Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), Netherlands.
This initiative aligns with CIBAFI’s objective, Advocacy of Islamic Finance Values and Related Policies & Regulations. CIBAFI will continue to support 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.