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BisB outlines a three-year sustainability roadmap

October 24, 2021
finance & economy

In line with its strategy towards integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations across all business fronts, Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has recently partnered up with Sustainability Excellence, the leading provider of sustainability advisory and research firm in the Middle East specializing in sustainability reporting and ESG assessment services, to support instating the Bank’s ESG initiatives and plans.

Subsequent to its successful formulation of a three-year sustainability roadmap, the Bank ultimately aims to position itself as a vital purpose and impact-driven player by 2023, all while benefitting from recognized ESG leadership and strengthening its dominant market position as the lender of choice in high sustainability impact sectors. The strategy has implanted clearly defined Key Performance Indicators (KPI) assigned to pivotal departments for every year of the strategic roadmap. By the first quarter of 2022 the Bank plans to embed sustainability at the core of its business; establish an integrated management model, assign the requisite steering committees, and formulate a corporate governance model.

Besides the aforementioned ESG fundamentals, the Bank will also continue to raise awareness on sustainability practices and update the necessary internal policies accordingly, and determine initial areas of opportunity to further strengthen ESG-led actions, in the likes of exploring eco-friendly solutions and policies to reduce the carbon footprint of the Banks operations, as well as forming a policy to highlight the Bank’s commitment to promoting employee diversity and emerging as an equal opportunity employer.

To ensure the strategic vision of the roadmap is achieved, the strategy has been charted into clearly defined areas of focus and tactical pillars. The first pillar, Responsible Banking, focuses on achieving sustainability-driven growth within BisB by contributing to driving a shift in markets towards sustainable finance, enhancing the ESG criteria in financing activities, and enhancing processes and policies on financial inclusion. The remaining pillars tackle various stakeholder priorities, namely, improving the customer experience in a sustainable manner, nurturing the internal employee workforce, investing in the community, preserving natural resources, and finally, establishing ESG governance mechanisms and implementing ethical financial behavior.

Commenting on the occasion, the Chief Executive of BisB, Hassan Jarrar, revealed, “The decision to develop a roadmap for sustainability at an executive level resonates strongly with our ongoing commitment to driving digitisation in the financial industry, by launching innovative banking solutions to make traditional banking less complicated and more intuitive. With our CSR platform Jood, which was launched as a result of the Bank’s ethos of social innovation, we have consistently invested in the local community, leveraging on BisB’s full resources and capabilities to contribute to developing a future ready workforce and ensuring generations to come are prepared to lead, all the while seeking to create sustainable change and leave a positive imprint on society. This will continue to be a key focus area going forward.”

“One of the key pillars of this newly formed sustainability roadmap, Enhancing Customer Experiences, has consistently remained at the core of our priorities at BisB underlined by our promise of simplifying money matters by providing innovative, Shari’a compliant solutions that harness the power of advanced technology. We plan to continue to employ the ultimate level of transparency when it comes to our customers, safeguarding their data and privacy, and seeking to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction and care, all while integrating sustainability-oriented product and services into our portfolio of financing solutions in the future.”

With a 93.4% Bahrainisation rate, BisB considers its people to be its most valued asset, striving to empower its human capital by providing them with a significant learning and skills development platform to equip a future-ready industry workforce, all while inspiring a transformation mind-set and harnessing a culture of innovation from within. As part of the first leg of the Bank’s sustainability roadmap, BisB plans to continue to enhance its ability to attract and retain female, Bahraini talent in leadership roles, train an ESG team, and build internal expertise and capabilities in high impact sectors, consistently assessing ESG risks in financing and investment.