Sustainability Guide for Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) was Presented at the CIBAFI Annual Meetings

Sustainability Guide for Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) was Presented at the CIBAFI Annual Meetings

Manama (UNA-OIC) – The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), the global umbrella of Islamic financial institutions, has successfully held a webinar showcasing CIBAFI Sustainability Guide: Enabling Sustainability Integration in Islamic Banking Sector.

Recognizing the growing interests and significance of sustainability practices within the Islamic financial sector, CIBAFI was pleased to announce the completion of its Sustainability Guide for Islamic financial institutions. In this context, a webinar featuring a presentation on the structure and key components of the Sustainability Guide followed by an interactive panel discussion with the experts in the industry was successfully held in conjunction with CIBAFI Annual Meetings 2022.

Opening the webinar, CIBAFI Secretary General, Dr. Abdelilah Belatik said: “One of the most important goals of CIBAFI’s strategic direction has always been sustainable development within the global financial community. CIBAFI has been actively raising awareness and supporting global sustainability efforts for many years. These initiatives include publishing publications, hosting webinars, forums, and conferences, as well as collaborating with international organizations by signing memorandums of understanding and submitting expert opinions on related policies and regulations issued by standard-setting organizations. In 2019, CIBAFI publicly announced its commitment to supporting sustainability practices in the Islamic financial services industry (IFSI). To that end, the CIBAFI Sustainability Working Group (SWG) was formed, with the goal of improving the environmental, social, and governance principles of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs). The Group is made up of expert representatives from CIBAFI member institutions as well as other international stakeholder organizations, and its mission is to guide IFIs toward sustainable development while instilling Islamic finance values in their practices.

Talking about the Guide, Dr. Belatik added: We are happy to announce that we have completed the development of CIBAFI Sustainability Guide for Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs). This Guide is comprised of the Five Principles of Sustainability, based on Maqasid Al-Shariah (objectives of Shariah). These Principles were created to promote sustainable development in the Islamic banking industry by assisting Islamic banks in integrating sustainability into their business activities while taking environmental, social, and economic objectives into account. We are grateful to our Board of Directors, members, and other stakeholders for their assistance during the various stages of developing this Guide, and we look forward to their continuous assistance in putting this Guide into action”.

The webinar also witnessed an interactive panel discussion on how Islamic banks contribute to achieve the global best sustainable practices in the industry through its business. In addition, the speakers 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 session was moderated by Dr. Dalal Aassouli, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, College of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar, while the panelists included Mr. Peter Casey, Consultant, General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI); Prof. Dr. Mehmet Asutay, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Political Economy & Finance, Durham University Business School, United Kingdom; Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram, Executive Director, International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA), Malaysia; Dr. Mohammed Alyami, Director of Development Effectiveness Department, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Saudi Arabia and Dr. Adriana Kocornik-Mina, Metrics and Research Senior Manager, Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), The 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.

The last day of CIBAFI Annual Meetings will witness the 2nd Meeting of its Innovation and Technology Working Group (ITWG), a Webinar on “Building Blocks of a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy”, Extra-Ordinary General Meeting, CIBAFI 22nd Annual General Meeting, and the 45th Board of Directors’ Meeting. 

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