Gulf International Bank publishes its first sustainability report
Gulf International Bank (GIB) today announced that it has published the first group-wide sustainability report (the report) which shows GIB’s commitment to sustainable growth and performance against indicators environmental, social and governance.
The report provides an overview of GIB’s strategic approach to sustainability and the Bank’s direct activities and initiatives and discloses them in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for the year ending 31 December 2021.
It also defines the values and principles that guide the behaviors of the Bank through a group sustainability framework that was adopted in 2021 to ensure that sustainability is embedded in GIB’s approach and offerings. These include sustainability-related client loans, financing for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), advice on issuing green sukuk and sustainable asset management solutions.
Highlights of the report include a number of milestones achieved during the year:
- 31% reduction in scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2020
- 29.6% female representation in 2021, compared to 25% in 2018
- Launch of the Sustainable World Fund, which offers investors the opportunity to invest in a fully sustainable vehicle
- Issuance of a US$625 million sustainability-linked syndicated loan for GIB – the first for a Bahrain-headquartered bank and a first for a Saudi majority-owned bank
- Integration of sustainability into risk management and profiling for all clients – the program started in 2021 and is being rolled out gradually until 2022
- Introduction of a Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure the Bank’s supply chain operates in a sustainable manner
Commenting, Abdulaziz Al-Helaissi, Chairman and CEO of GIB Group, said, “At this time last year, every meeting room at GIB’s head office had a supply of plastic water bottles. Today, there are no more in the building. Although this is only a tiny proportion of the approximately 1.4 billion plastic bottles used every day around the world, for us it was a very visible manifestation of the cultural change taking place at GIB. and each person can play their part to support the institution they work for. Reducing plastic and greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our diversity and inclusion are just some of the improvements we’ve made in an effort to become a more sustainable bank. More importantly, we have begun to offer a set of sustainable financial products to support our clients in their own sustainability efforts. »
Venetia Bell, Group Chief Sustainability Officer of GIB, added: “We believe that finance can be a force for good. It occupies a unique place in business and trade with banks, like GIB, acting as catalysts for growth and development and influencing and supporting the economy at large. This belief in the important role we have to play underpins our commitment to continue to strengthen our ESG performance and lead by example. Our first report affirms that our sustainability strategy is already making significant progress and delivering concrete results for the Bank, our clients and other stakeholders. We know there is still much to do and we look forward to integrating ESG and sustainability considerations even further into the mainstream of our business, culture and offerings throughout 2022 and beyond.