Environment, Social, Governance

empty Description of term "Environment, Social, Governance"

Too important to fail—addressing the humanitarian financing gap

UN study paper on the humanitarian financing gap.

"The world today spends around US$ 25 billion to provide life-saving assistance to 125 million people devastated by wars and natural disasters. While this amount is twelve times greater than fifteen years ago, never before has generosity been so insufficient. Over the last years conflicts and natural disasters have led to fast-growing numbers of people in need and a funding gap for humanitarian action of an estimated US$ 15 billion. This is a lot of money, but not out of reach for a world producing US$ 78 trillion of annual GDP.

ICD and Saturna Sdn Bhd Partner on Sustainable Islamic Investing ?

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Saturna Sdn. Bhd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Saturna Capital Corporation, plan to sign an agreement to cooperate in offering sustainable Islamic investment vehicles. The parties sign the agreement at the Responsible Finance Summit in Kuala Lumpur on March 30. This partnership highlights ICD’s dedication to promoting the adoption of responsible investment principles in Islamic finance. In choosing Saturna as its partner, ICD will be tapping the firm’s expertise in global values-based investing and its experience in managing US-based Amana Funds as well as Saturna Sustainable Funds.

Practical Tools for a New Approach to Financial Inclusion Funding

CGAP recently published new guidelines for funders of financial inclusion which encourage funders to take a market systems approach. Market systems approaches have been applied in other sectors, notably agriculture and enterprise development, for many years and lessons and operational tools have been developed based on these experiences. In financial inclusion, experiences with market systems approaches are still rare and there is a limited body of accessible knowledge on how to operationalize a market systems approach in financial inclusion. To fill this gap, CGAP plans to develop a series of case studies that illustrate the practice of market systems development and highlight implications for funders’ strategies and operations.

Basel Committee Guidance on Financial Inclusion: Views from a Supervisor

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has requested comment on a draft guidance document that for the first time addresses the responsibilities of regulators and supervisors in the context of financial inclusion. Given the potential impact of this guidance on regulators around the world, Daniel M. Schydlowsky was invited to review and comment. Dr. Schydlowsky is a fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the former head of the Superintendency of Banks and Insurance Companies of Peru. The draft guidance issued by the Basel Committee describes numerous particular situations that supervisors have to confront and suggests responses.

Bahrain Islamic Bank joins the Pearl Initiative’s growing network of regional corporate partners

Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has joined the Pearl Initiative, the Gulf business-led organization promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency as a key driver of competitiveness across the Region. As a partner of the Pearl Initiative, Bahrain Islamic Bank will encourage the implementation of corporate governance practices and gender diversity in leadership at workplaces throughout the region. Through its association, BisB will participate in dialogue forums and capability-building seminars, facilitate engagement with peers and work alongside Pearl Initiative to encourage social entrepreneurship across the Region.

Girl Rising: Civic Education and its Role in Economic Empowerment

There is a strong correlation between education and positive health and socioeconomic outcomes for women and girls, yet education is often one of the first things to be disrupted when conflicts break out. In areas where traditional educational models become unavailable or unfeasible, civic education courses that nurture cultures of peace, promote dialogue and non-violent conflict resolution, and build the cognitive and participatory skills of participants can help fill a critical gap. Education, in concentrating on helping students realize their self-actualization, has been shown to make it more likely that there will be a democratic outcome to these conflict situations.

Bank AlJazira rewarded as Best Arabian Giving Foundation in 2015

Bank AlJazira achieved a new reward as the best Arabian donor in 2015 during the “Non-Governmental Giving Foundations in Arabian countries” conference held in Bahrain. The award was received by the Executive Director of the Community Service Programs Dr. Fahad Bin Ali Al-Olayan on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer Mr. Nabil Al-Hoshan. The award was presented by the “Regional Network for Social Responsibility” in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization “UNIDO”; Bank AlJazira has been chosen for this award by the conference committee.

New Israeli Crowdfunding Platform Will Raise Zero-Interest Loans for Social Impact Enterprises

The main obstacle encountered by most social impact enterprises is a credit crunch. LivinGift wishes to solve this problem, by offering zero-interest loans to social impact enterprises through crowdfunding. The Israeli-based platform is now open for applications for all forms of organizations: non-profit organizations, NGOs, for-profit companies and cooperatives. The platform will be launched this upcoming April, in both English and Hebrew. Social impact enterprises will have to show double impact strategy: social or environmental impact, alongside a sustainable and profitable economic model and a fixed income.

Islamic crowdfunding for social-impact housing (Pt 1)

Today, crowdfunding is a part of the financial services segment known as financial technology (fintech). And it is seeing exponential growth in investments. There are four types of crowdfunding — debt, equity, rewards and donations. There are also new variants and concepts such as Islamic crowdfunding, which is the use of shariah-compliant crowdfunding platforms. Higher bank interest rates for property development have seen the emergence of real estate crowdfunding. And as interest rates continue to rise, developers will need to look beyond traditional financing for their projects, according to a Crowd101.com article entitled “Crowdfunding 2016 predictions: The next real estate boom?”

Trust issues may hamper RI financial inclusion campaign

The government’s joint effort with banking institutions to promote financial inclusion across the archipelago is facing a major hurdle as most people from low-income households are reluctant to let individual agents take care of their savings under the government-endorsed branchless banking program, a recent study has revealed. The Financial Services Authority’s (OJK) branchless banking program, locally known as Laku Pandai, offers banking and financial services to all Indonesian citizens through the help of other parties, including individual and institutional agents, whose work is supported by cellphones and other IT facilities.

Call for Papers: Global Donors Forum, Istanbul May 2016, 24-25

Resetting Priorities - Redefining Roles

Five years ago, the Global Donors Forum was convened in Dubai to take on a challenging task: to define the roadmap for Muslim giving into the next decade. As a growing network of philanthropists, grantmaking foundations and socially responsible corporations, the Forum lead a consultative dialogue among the thought leaders from which, it was hoped, a new social compact could emerge.

Half a decade on, with the world having changed dramatically as events in the Middle East would attest, the Global Donors Forum 2016, has a new set of issues to focus upon. Foremost among these is the need to rigorously analyse the past decade in order to ascertain how best to formulate strategies to counter emerging challenges. The GDF 2016 will, therefore, attempt to set new priorities as it looks to redefine the role of philanthropy, with a focus on the Muslim world in a radically changed global landscape.

MSCI launches ESG fund ratings

MSCI has launched its ratings service to measure the environmental, social and governance focus of portfolio holdings. The ESG Fund Metrics will measure funds’ exposure to factors such as sustainable impact, values alignment and ESG risks, including carbon footprint. According to the metrics, each fund will receive an overall score from zero to ten, which indicates the ability of holdings to manage various levels of risks. It will also use a peer group percentile rank and individual ‘E’, ‘S’ and ‘G’ scores. The percentile ranking will be relative to all global funds receiving a score, as well as relative to the fund’s peer group.

Welcome to the ESG Evolution

The easy triumphalism about capitalism that ruled at the beginning of this century has given way to a much sharper debate about whether the system is a genuine wealth creator. Such talk has permeated conversation in the most elite business institutions. In both 2012 and 2016, the leaders of the World Economic Forum placed the future of capitalism at the heart of their annual agenda because, as founder Klaus Schwab put it, 'capitalism in its current form no longer fits the world around us'. Though no one disputes capitalism's raw force, the deeper issue is whether the free-market system, has been asking the wrong questions, examining the wrong data, reaching the wrong conclusions and pursuing the wrong goals.

TV drama promotes financial education in Mongolia

In Mongolia, a project assisted by ADB and the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction used storytelling to help people protect themselves through saving and financial planning. The global financial crisis and a dry spell followed by another dzud or a long severe winter in 2008 to 2010 pointed out the obvious: with no financial safety nets, the most vulnerable households needed financial education. The project developed a soap opera called A course that helps you become a millionaire, which became the second most watched program nationwide in 2015. The plots were based on the information needs of the target viewers – 24 issues were identified, translated as behavioral messages and included in the scripts.

Madinah governor opens SR52m 'Charity City'

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman launched on Monday a 14-story complex costing SR52 million that would house all the region's charities. Speaking at the opening, Prince Faisal, who is also chairman of the Charitable Society for Social Services, said the complex would have state-of-the art facilities that would streamline services to the needy. Abdul Barie bin Awadh Al-Thibaiti, secretary general of the society, said the new building would generate much-needed funds for charitable activities. He said the 30-year-old organization helps more than 6,000 students a year on a five-year budget of SR33 million.

"Omar Al Mukhtar" social housing project in Sijoumi reaches progress rate of 65%

The progress rate of the second phase of the social housing project "Omar Al Mukhtar" in Sidi Hassine Sijoumi (capital western suburbs) is now 65% and the project will be completed by late August 2016. The handover of keys is expected before the end of 2016, noted the Minister of Public Works, Housing and Spatial Planning Mohamed Salah Arfaoui, at a visit Tuesday to the site of the project along with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani. The project with an estimated cost of nearly 54 million dinars financed by Qatar through a donation (40%) and a free-interest loan (60%) will help build 810 social residential units.

Islamic mutual fund increases social impact with trade finance investments

Azzad Asset Management today announced that it has further magnified the social impact of its flagship mutual fund by adding investments in ethical trade finance deals. These investments may provide returns for investors while helping underserved populations in Asia and Africa obtain reasonable financing to grow businesses and cooperatives. The Azzad Wise Capital Fund (WISEX) invests primarily in sukuk and community development banks. Through WISEX, the Virginia-based investment firm is participating in a group of syndicated ethical trade finance deals arranged by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). The ITFC is charged with advancing trade and improving the economic conditions of people around the world.

On Your Mark — Get Set — Pitch!

There are seven of the World Bank Group’s Climate Innovation Centers — in the Caribbean, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, and Vietnam. They support more than 270 clean-technology startups with training programs, grants and mentorship. Increasingly, the centers have turned to competitions to help entrepreneurs grow. Bootcamps and pitching competitions have emerged as promising opportunities for jump-starting an entrepreneur’s journey. Participants train intensively with seasoned entrepreneurs to perfect their pitch. They learn to showcase their business idea and strategy in mere minutes before a panel of judges. Winners bring home significant prizes — and, perhaps more important, connections with potential investors and a greater understanding of the business landscape.

European bank arranges financing for Central Anatolian hospital

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced it is co-financing the development of a 318 million-euro high-tech hospital in Konya, a city in Turkey’s central Anatolian region. As part of a comprehensive long-term financial package, the EBRD has arranged a 147.5-million-euro-of syndicated loan under its A/B loan structure, with 67.5 million euros for the Bank’s own account and 80 million euros of syndicated to UniCredit Bank Austria AG and Siemens Financial Services. The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank are providing parallel financing of 50 million euros and 67.5 million euros respectively.

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