Environment, Social, Governance

empty Description of term "Environment, Social, Governance"

Abdulaziz AlSaghyir Holding launches Nama'a Center for Social Responsibility

Abdulaziz AlSaghyir Holding has launched a center specialized in social responsibility. The aim of Namaa Center for Social Responsibility (NCSR) is to support social services, innovate communal programs and promoting scientific studies and research of this area. Moreover, the center seeks to build strategic partnerships with different partners to support the center'sactivities in the future. The NCSR also represents the strategic arm of Abdulaziz AlSaghyir Holding in planning,development and implementing communal programs. NCSR's long-term strategies and plans include the educational, social and training fields. The planning of a specialized program of leadership for university students from both genders has already been completed through strategic central relationships with the high education and universities. The program is based on thinking, experiment and building to advance the personality and behavior.

Takaful Ikhlas Allocates RM200,000 For CSR Programmes During Ramadan

Takaful Ikhlas allocates close to RM200,000 to carry out its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes for the whole month of Ramadan. On July 11, the company contributed RM16,000 to the Al-Ikhlas Home of Elderly Care and Treatment in Puchong, Selangor through its Ramadan programme. Besides this contribution, other daily necessities are also provided including medicine, clothing, food as well as other needs to manage the home.Earlier, 66 residents of the home received free health examinations before attending a special religious class by the company's employees besides a get-together session and iftar dinner. Various activities have been planned during Ramadan such as the exclusive cooperation 'Titipan Kasih Harian Metro' at Olak Lempit, 'Bubur Lambuk' programme, 'Salam Sahur', 'Kasih Syawal', health examination for chronic patients and 'Jom Beli Baju Raya', which will be held nationwide.

UNDP and Islamic Trade Finance Corporation join hands to fight poverty in the Arab world

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) of the Islamic Development Bank agreed to cooperate in the Arab States region on fighting poverty and creating jobs. The newly-signed Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States will spearhead trade reforms in Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa with the aim of bringing about pro-poor economic growth. The Aid for Trade Initiative for Arab States was endorsed by the 3rd Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, held in January. It is funded by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation as well as the Governments of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Sweden and UNDP. The initiative will also be undertaken in technical cooperation with the League of Arab States.

European Central Bank published research about Islamic finance

European Central Bank, Occasional Paper No 146, June 2013


Islamic finance is based on ethical principles in line with Islamic religious law. Despite its low
share of the global financial market, Islamic fi nance has been one of this sector’s fastest growing
components over the last decades and has gained further momentum in the wake of the financial

The paper examines the development of and possible prospects for Islamic finance, with a special
focus on Europe. It compares Islamic and conventional finance, particularly as concerns risks
associated with the operations of respective institutions, as well as corporate governance. The paper
also analyses empirical evidence comparing Islamic and conventional financial institutions with
regard to their: (i) efficiency and profitability; and (ii) stability and resilience. Finally, the paper
considers the conduct of monetary policy in an Islamic banking context. This is not uncomplicated
given the fact that interest rates – normally a cornerstone of monetary policy – are prohibited under
Islamic finance. Liquidity management issues are thus discussed here, with particular reference to
the euro area.

Khan Academy in the Economist: The Future of E-ducation

In a story called “E-ducation: A long overdue technological revolution is at last under way,” the Economist reports on the future of learning online, mentioning Khan Academy. Four years after Salman Khan gave up his job at a hedge fund to focus on making maths videos, the Khan Academy has 6m registered users, who solve (or try to solve) 3m problems a day, and it has broadened its curriculum far beyond maths. It is spreading beyond America, too. Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men, is said to be paying for a version of Khan Academy’s curriculum to be developed for schoolchildren in his native Mexico.

SIB to host cultural activities

Competitions for cash prizes as well as Islamic lectures will be part of the activities at the Sharjah Islamic Bank’s (SIB) Ramadan Tent this year. For the seventh consecutive year, from July 11 to 25, the tent will feature various religious awareness and entertaining programmes as well as engagement activities, delivered by an elite group of Muslim scholars and experts. As part of this year’s programme, SIB has prepared a wide range of cultural activities and competitions titled “Who will encash the cheque”, and allocated several cash and material prizes. There will also be a Quran recitation competition, a “Social Awareness Night”, a children’s night, an Emirati evening with religious singing, an evening dedicated to people with special needs and radio broadcasts on Sharjah Radio.

Hult Prize Competition for Student teams worldwide to solve food crisis

Over the past three years, the Hult Prize has taken on some of the planet's toughest challenges. These have included Education, Energy, Housing, and Water. For the 2013 Prize, President Clinton has personally selected the challenge: the Global Food Crisis.

A detailed case study, narrated by President Bill Clinton, will be released to all selected participants in early January to set the framework for this year's challenge. Competitors will then be asked to develop social enterprises that answer the President's Challenge.

The global food crisis can be approached through multiple lenses, such as: distribution, manufacturing, production, technology and many others. Each, represents an opportunity for innovation. Nearly 1 Billion people in the World are Hungry, that is over 1 out of every 4 children. Ironically, our global economy produces enough food each year to feed everyone, however more than one-third of the food generated for human consumption continues to be lost or wasted.

Dh15 million Zakat Fund campaign to support 300 needy students

Abu Dhabi University, the Zakat Fund and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank have launched a Dh15 million Ramadan fund-raising campaign to support 300 needy students. Dr Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University said that generosity is a life lesson that teaches the community that today's contributions impact tomorrow's innovators. Moreover, the Ramadan campaign gives donors the chance to 'shape the future', he added.

Khaleeji Commercial Bank pays Zakat to needy families

Mr. Adel Al Asoumi, Chairman of Houra and Gudhaybeya Charity Fund thanked Khaleeji Commercial Bank for its contribution towards sponsoring a number of needy families in association with the Charity Fund. As part of its Zakat fund program, the Bank works closely with charity organizations in the country supporting needy families and helping out raise their standard of living. The Bank has contributed from its Zakat fund to support a number of families sponsored by Houra and Gudhaybeya Charity Fund to ensure the support goes directly to the needy families. The Charity Fund will facilitate the process of helping those selected families by providing the Bank with their names, details and identified needs.

UAE Exchange joins the fight against world hunger alongside the UN World Food Programme

The global remittance and foreign exchange brand UAE Exchange today announced a new partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. To mark the beginning of this collaboration that coincides with the upcoming start of Ramadan, UAE Exchange held a launch ceremony and announced a donation in support of WFP’s school feeding program in Africa, which will help fund 100,000 school meals to poor students. The event was attended by senior officials from UAE Exchange and WFP along with special invitees and the media.

Governance remains a challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa - World Bank report

The latest World Bank review of policies and institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa shows an overall stable environment for growth and poverty reduction despite divergence across countries. The review is part of the annual World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) that rates the performance of poor countries. The scores of 11 countries rose by 0.1 points or more, reflecting a strengthened policy agenda, and the indexes of another 12 countries declined by at least 0.1 points. Cape Verde and Kenya had the highest scores. The upward trend of scores assessing social reforms shows that they are taking hold in Sub-Saharan Africa. Governance scores continue to lag all other areas assessed by the CPIA, reflecting the deep-rooted challenges facing African countries in this important area.

Khaleeji Commercial Bank supports needy families

Mr. Yousef Al Mahmeed, Chairman of Hamad Town Charity Fund thanked Khaleeji Commercial Bank and its chairman Dr. Fuad Al Omar for its contribution towards sponsoring a number of needy families in association with the Charity Fund. Khaleeji Commercial Bank has agreed to use part of its charity fund to support a number of families sponsored by Hamad Town Charity Fund to ensure the support goes directly to the needy families. Mr. Yousef thanked the Bank for its initiative and continuous support for programs organized by Hamad Town Charity Fund and other general initiatives taken for similar projects. The Charity Fund will facilitate the process of helping those selected families by providing the Bank with their names, details and identified needs.

Ernst and Young grants Kuwait Finance House CSR Assurance Certificate

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has been granted an Independent Assurance Certificate of its Corporate Sustainability Report from Ernst and Young (E&Y). This certification came after meeting or exceeding all requirements of the certification criteria. Nadeem Shafi, the partner of (E&Y), handed the certificate to KFH's CEO Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Omar in the presence of a number of officials. The bank has been certified according to data and information related to the bank's sustainability performance, internal protocols, processes and controls related to the sustainability performance data and information related to the workforce. Moreover, environmental data, achievements and awards as well as training and community development initiatives, were also taken into consideration. E&Y sustainability assurance team also visited the company's corporate office to gain confidence in the data and selected claims presented in the report.

UNEP Finance Initiative elects David Pitt-Watson and Madeleine Ronquest as Co-Chairs and seeks new head to lead the Initiative

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has elected its two new Co-Chairs to steer the initiative and to champion its revised motto: Changing finance, financing change. David Pitt-Watson, Senior Strategic Advisor and Representative of Inflection Point Capital Management, and Madeleine Ronquest, Head of Environmental and Social Risk Management at FirstRand Group Ltd., will co-chair the UNEP FI Global Steering Committee for the next two years. The Committee is composed of 15 elected members who focus on climate change, ecosystem management, and social issues. UNEP FI's upcoming two-day Global Roundtable (GRT), to be held on the 12-13 November in Beijing China, will focus on long-term decision-making and the fundamental role of finance in society.


Dubai Chamber newsletter focuses on the growing profile of the Sustainability Network

The second issue of the quarterly CSR Al Youm newsletter, released by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry 's Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), marks the Sustainability Network's membership reaching 50 from just 2 in 2010. It also focuses on the members' sharing of their experiences on CSR, Sustainability and Corporate Governance to further support its development and adoption in the UAE. In its 'Sustainability Network Interview Series', the newsletter features Mr. Wasim Javed, HR Director, Middle East and Africa, TNT Express, who talks about his company's approach to CSR. The newsletter covers Engage Dubai's annual Give & Gain Day programme where business volunteers helped with everything from cooking classes at special needs schools to employability workshops for university students. Also, the newsletter profiles the CSR partnership in action of CHEP, Imdaad and Union Paper Mills to minimise waste to landfill and there is an article highlighting the environmental requirements of the Dubai Chamber CSR Label.

Financial Engineering for Low-Income Households

Bindu Ananth and Amit Shah recently published the book "Financial Engineering for Low-Income Households". The motivation of this book is to systematically compile principles from finance and economics theory and apply them to the context of design and delivery of financial services for low-income households. This is meant by the term financial engineering in this context. The biggest opportunity is in going away from standardized products to customized delivery. Financial engineering is essential to this customization because it provides the algorithms/rules for this customization. Therefore, in theory, each person can have a uniquely designed portfolio of financial services that reflect her growth and risk management needs. KGFS, a growing rural financial services company, has developed products and an operating model to meet the needs of low income households and to apply financial engineering.

King Khalid Foundation, NCB support four charity projects

The National Commercial Bank (NCB) recently signed an agreement with King Khalid Foundation to give financial donations to the best charity foundations that were able present a plan of a charity project. The aim of this initiative is to support training programs and build the capabilities of charity foundations’ staff to promote efficiency, effectiveness and performance, which will be positively reflected on the society. The list of wining projects included Qualifying the Adolescents project presented by Charity Society for Marriage & Family Care in Baha, Rehabilitation of Visually Impaired project presented by Ebsar Foundation, My Skill is Enough project presented by Albir Society Jeddah, and Qualifying the Job Seekers from Ensan Committee project presented by Charity Committee for Orphans Care (Ensan), Riyadh. Each foundation received a financial donation at the value of SR 200,000.

IDB partners with Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab to train development professionals

The Islamic Development Bank, in collaboration with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA organized a high-level training course on Impact Evaluation of Development Programs taking place at the IDB headquarters from 8 to 12 June 2013. The training program was delivered by renowned experts in the field. Impact evaluation seeks to respond to the growing demand of donors and beneficiaries for measurable results on development interventions carried out by development banking institutions around the world. The training supports IDB's drive to improve the quality of its interventions, and showcase results on the ground. The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) coordinated the training program in collaboration with the Operations Policy and Services Department (OPSD) and the Group Operations Evaluation Department (GOED) of IDB.

Al Hilal Bank goes 'dark' for World Environment Day 2013

Al Hilal Bank has announced that it will continue its sustainability efforts of switching off the lights in its branches and offices after working hours and will add a new green initiative in commemoration of World Environment Day on June 5, 2013. Since dimmer screens save energy by as much as 20 per cent, the bank will promote and offer dark-themed backgrounds and screensavers via strategic websites, emailers, Facebook tabs and Twitter links. Through its online campaigns for its ‘Go dark’ initiative, Al Hilal hopes to encourage more organizations and individuals to support simple actions that protect the environment. World Environment Day is celebrated every year on the 5th of June and organized by UNEP - theUnited Nations Environment Programme. This year’s event was held under the theme ‘Think.Eat.Save.’ and was hosted by Mongolia.

Building a Culture of Corporate Governance in Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, state-owned companies play a significant role in the economy, especially in the banking, mining, and transportation sectors. Cronyism and corruption within these companies presents a major obstacle to Kyrgyzstan’s market- economic transition. The existing dynamic only reinforces a patronage system—the antithesis to democracy—resulting in poor economic performance and public service delivery. To reduce such overt political influence in corporate management and increase board independence, CIPE and its local partner, the Corporate Governance School (CGS), are educating board members from state-owned enterprises about the principles of corporate governance. During 56 hours of lectures, discussions and case studies, participants learn the fundamentals of corporate governance, including the function and responsibilities of boards of directors.

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