Manama (UNA-OIC) – The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), the global umbrella of Islamic financial institutions convened the first meeting of its Sustainability Working Group (SWG), which was attended remotely by 20 members from 14 countries.
Last year, CIBAFI has announced its commitment to supporting sustainability practices within the Islamic financial services industry (IFSI) through its Strategic Plan 2019-2022. The plan 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. In furthering this goal, CIBAFI SWG which comprises representatives from CIBAFI’s members and other international stakeholder organizations from the globe has been established.
In this context, CIBAFI Secretariat organized on Wednesday the kick-off meeting of the SWG with the main purpose of initiating the groundwork required to achieve the objectives of its establishment. The SWG will currently focus on two projects, (1) Sustainability Guide for the Islamic banking industry and (2) Carbon Footprint Measurement Methodology for Islamic financial institutions as a starting point.
The prime objective of the Sustainability Guide is to augment the social and environmental responsibilities and governance principles of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs). While the Carbon Footprint Measurement Methodology aims to help IFIs in identifying to what extent their financing is responsible for GHG emissions, which is considered the primary reason behind the climate change issue.
CIBAFI SWG kick-off meeting also witnessed an experience sharing session from experts in the area of sustainability and the launch of CIBAFI 13th Briefing on “Climate Change and its Implications for the Financial Industry”. CIBAFI 13th Briefing highlights the initiatives being taken globally and the role of the financial institutions in managing climate change risks. It also presents how far climate change risks represent an important business concern for the Islamic banking industry, through the findings of a recent survey conducted by CIBAFI.
The above initiatives of CIBAFI are also in line with the Global Week to Act for SDGs. 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.