Environment, Social, Governance

empty Description of term "Environment, Social, Governance"

Saudi billionaire donates two-thirds of his wealth to charity

A Saudi billionaire has donated two-thirds of his wealth to charity. Forbes Magazine estimates the wealth of Saudi business tycoon Shaikh Suleiman bin Abdulaziz Al Rajhi at $7.7 billion. Al Rajhi has worked as a porter, cleaner, cook, café servant and office boy in a bank. Forbes magazine has ranked him as the Arab world's fifth richest man. He is the founder of Al-Rajhi Bank, the largest Islamic bank in the world, and one of the largest companies in Saudi Arabia.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Visa, China Foundation for Development of Financial Education, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation to Promote Financial Literacy, Mobile Banking

Visa Incorporated recently announced partnerships with two organizations to promote financial inclusion in China: the China Foundation for Development of Financial Education (CFDFE), which is affiliated with China’s central bank and seeks to alleviate poverty, and the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), a government-backed organization focusing on emergency relief. Visa will collaborate with CFDFE to build the “China Financial Inclusion and Education (Jinhui Project) International Demonstration Zone” to facilitate financial education and capacity building. In partnership with CFPA, Visa will launch a mobile phone-based program in Inner Mongolia to educate farmers in eight counties and to promote Internet-based financial services.

Emirates Foundation and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank announce Partnership in support of Financial Literacy in the UAE

Emirates Foundation and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) have partnered in support of financial literacy through Emirates Foundation's programme 'Esref Sah', which aims to educate youth on ways to manage their current and future financial and asset base. The three-year agreement was signed by Mohanna Al Muhairi, Chief Operations Officer of Emirates Foundation , and Mohamed Ali Al Fahim. Region Head, Corporate Banking. With a commitment of AED 1.5 million, the agreement, which offers both financial and knowledge-sharing technical support, is in line with the Foundation's business philanthropy model. On the other hand, this partnership comes as part of ADIB's UAE vision to invest in development programmes.

The World Bank to Asharq Al-Awsat: Aid to Syrian Refugees Will be Monitored Every 6 Months

The Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa Hafez Ghanem confirmed that the World Bank aims to give $20 billion to the Middle East to help ease the Syrian crisis within the next five years. The figure is three times what the World Bank has spent up until now, and Ghanem added that his institution has given $4.9 billion to the Middle East and North Africa since July last year and most of this went to Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and, to a lesser extent, Lebanon. The increase had already started before the Syria crisis, when $1.6 billion was given to the region every 12 months. With regards to the monitoring of loans, Ghanem said that the World Bank helps the government design a project and provides technical assistance. Then a team of experts supervises it every six months.

The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group Announces its Sustainable Business Leadership Forum 2016

The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG) announces the upcoming Sustainable Business Leadership Forum. The Forum fosters sustainable development, innovation, and responsible business growth. The Forum offers a platform for sustainability practitioners from every sector to share their sustainability practices. The Forum will also provide opportunities to learn from regional sustainability leaders and be exposed to some of the latest sustainability approaches from global thought-leaders. The Abu Dhabi Sustainable Business Leadership Forum will take place from: 17-18 February 2016, in Abu Dhabi.

How can we leverage digital technology for financial inclusion?

Despite transformative innovations in digital technologies, the digital divide is still substantial. As this year’s World Development Report on “Digital Dividends” notes, digital finance is likely to play a key role in answering the question of how digital technologies can contribute to the World Bank Group’s twin goals of eradicating extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity. Digital connectivity is key, but it is only a starting point for successful digital development. It is as important to strengthen other factors that interact with technology in order to make digital technologies work for the poor. The World Development Report calls these other factors the ‘analog complements’ to digital technologies, which fall into three categories: regulation, skills, and institutions.

Oxfam report says some states in Syrian war fail to help victims

A report by international charity Oxfam on Monday showed some of the countries most deeply involved in Syria's civil war, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and France, are among the least generous in helping its victims. Oxfam released the report ahead of a donor conference in London on Thursday along with an appeal for increased aid and resettlement abroad for 10 percent of the refugees registered in Syria's neighbours by the end of the year. Most rich countries were contributing less than their "fair share" of financial aid, the amount a country should contribute relative to the size of its economy. Countries gave 56.5 percent of the $8.9 billion requested by aid appeals for 2015, it said.

SEDCO Holding Group Addresses Youth Financial Inclusion at the 2016 Hope Global Forums in Atlanta

Hosted by Operation HOPE in January in Atlanta (Georgia, USA), the 2016 Hope Global Forums Annual Meeting convened to Reimagine the Global Economy with a focus on 'Inclusive Economics'. Setting forth a goal to outline a solid vision for today's global economy, the meeting connected global leaders and Nobel Prize winners with government officials and the private sector. Leading the efforts to deliver youth financial literacy in the region with the Riyali financial literacy program, SEDCO Holding Group participated in this fourth edition of the Hope Global Forums. The three-day Annual Meeting topics covered the new and modern global economy, and demonstrated how community can serve as a call to action to inspire innovation and thought leadership to achieve economic growth and financial stability.

Africa: UNEP and Islamic Development Bank Sign Agreement On Environmental Conservation

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) today agreed on wide-ranging cooperation on environmental conservation in support of sustainable development and the fight against climate change. The Memorandum of Understanding, set to run until June 2018 initially, covers objectives common to the two organizations in the areas of climate change, agriculture and food security, eco-innovation and green economy, and Islamic finance. Capacity building in member countries in all these thematic areas will be supported. The overarching goal is to facilitate the implementation of both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

20 Years of Financial Inclusion in the Arab World

It is a common perception that the Arab world lags behind when it comes to financial inclusion. According to the 2014 Findex figures and excluding Gulf countries, the region indeed reports the highest percentage of financially excluded adults, with 80% of the population or about 200 million not having access to an account, and 95% not having access to credit. Yet, this has not always been the case. However, limited advocacy efforts concerted from within the industry as well as a lack of champions within public authorities both played a contributing factor here. Microfinance professionals can attest that 2010 marked the beginning of a new era, with positive signs of long-lasting, albeit arduous, change.

Hawkamah celebrates tenth anniversary

Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance at the Dubai International Financial Centre and the first centre specialised in Governance in the GCC, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Over the last decade, Hawkamah has offered advisory services and courses across the Middle East and North Africa region. The Centre is marking its 10th anniversary with the launch of several new strategic initiatives. One of Hawkamah’s milestones in the first quarter of 2016 will be the graduation of the first intake of the Women Directors’ Program, in collaboration with Dubai Women Establishment. The institute will also launch the Arabic version of its flagship ‘Director Development Program’, the DDP. The aim of the programme is to build an understanding of corporate governance and increase the capacity of business leaders.

DP World tops Pan Arab governance index for third time

For the third year running, DP World is the top stock in the S&P/Hawkamah Pan Arab ESG Index. The index is the first of its kind in the Arab world and ranks the transparency and disclosure of regional listed companies based on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) metrics. The participants are derived from the top 150 Pan Arab companies, by total market capitalisation, listed on stock markets of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabic, Tunisia and the UAE. The index is reconstituted once a year in December and the names of the top 10 companies are announced. It gathers information in the public domain, mainly from Annual Report and Accounts, to assess the leading company.

City of London launches new Green Finance Initiative as it bids to cement position as climate finance capital

The City of London yesterday launched a new initiative which aims to cement London's position as a world leader in green finance. The Green Finance Initiative (GFI) will focus on how to mobilize the capital required to implement both the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate change agreement. The unveiling of the new project came as a separate report released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the GFI launch event highlighted how the UK is currently a global hub in the emerging green finance market. The report, which profiles the actions that have been taken over the past 15 years to incorporate environmental and social factors into the financial sector, argues the UK has evolved a distinctive model of innovation in sustainable finance.

Islamic Development Bank supports polio elimination with $90 million grant

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) recently granted $90 million in funds to help Pakistan implement the latest step of its polio elimination program through 2018. The IDB previously promised $227 million so that Pakistan could implement various disease elimination programs until 2015. In the past year, approximately 80 percent of the world’s wild poliovirus cases were located in Pakistan. A report from the World Health Organization showed serious vaccination gaps inside South Waziristan, Peshawar, Khyber Agency, northern Sindh, Karachi, and regions in Balochistan. For Pakistan and Afghanistan to eliminate polio, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative requires that health officials step up their efforts to stop the virus from transmitting from person to person.

Book of the Day: The Convergence of Social Economy and Sustainability

The book: "Scaling Up: The Convergence of Social Economy and Sustainability", co-edited by Mike Gismondi, Mary Beckie et al., investigates innovative social economies in British Columbia and Alberta and discovered that achieving a social good through collective, grassroots enterprise resulted in a sustainable way of satisfying human needs that was also, by extension, environmentally responsible. As these case studies illustrate, organizations that are capable of harnessing the power of a social economy generally demonstrate a commitment to three outcomes: greater social justice, financial self-sufficiency, and environmental sustainability.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FinMark Trust, Centre for Financial Regulation & Inclusion, The MasterCard Foundation to Create “insight2impact” Data Facility to Assess Banking Needs of Poor People

The FinMark Trust, a nonprofit that promotes financial inclusion and regional financial integration; the Centre for Financial Regulation & Inclusion (CENFRI), a nonprofit affiliated with FinMark Trust; and The MasterCard Foundation, a Canadian organization founded by the US-based payments firm MasterCard, recently have announced that they will launch a joint data facility named “insight2impact” (i2i). The facility, which is expected to have a budget of USD 9.6 million, is intended to assist financial services providers in assessing the financial needs of low-income populations.

The Sustainability Revolution in Finance

A quiet revolution is taking place in the financial industry. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, sustainable development is increasingly being integrated into financial decision-making. The European Union has been rather passive so far in this transformation, but financial regulators in a number of countries are leading the charge. The revolution may be quiet, but it is getting louder. Fossil-fuel companies are increasingly being delegitimized. At the same time, investors are starting to understand that paying attention to climate risk is an integral part of a sound investment strategy that seeks to minimize risk and help to promote financial stability.

Support the Mutual Aid Network’s Crowdfunding Campaign

The aim of Mutual Aid Networks is to redesign how we work; to apply what we know about economic and community building tools to create a new vision for work. Instead of getting jobs so we can afford to live, we decide how we want to live and create community supports for each other to do what we want to do. Eight pilot sites are currently forming MANs to increase energy conservation and renewable energy production, provide food security and others. This crowdfunding campaign will provide us with the money we need to develop our infrastructure via software, communications tools, training and travel, outreach and more.

Impact Investing and Equity Pledges: The New Landscape of Corporate Responsibility

The movement to reimagine the social purpose of business is accelerating at lightning speed, spinning off a renaissance of entrepreneurship that’s exhilarating to behold. This wave of corporate creativity for good is transforming the relationship that businesses have with their communities and the possibilities for real change. A new generation of businesses is filling the leadership vacuum by building philanthropy directly into their founding missions. For this innovative breed of companies, giving back is not optional or half-hearted; creating sustainable and measurable impact is as core to their definition of success as a high return to their shareholders.

More wealthy Asians turn to philanthropy - but on the quiet

Asia's wealthy have been quietly stepping up their commitment to philanthropy, pouring significant fortunes into causes such as education - and doing so well away from the sort of limelight that their Western counterparts often enjoy. Many established private banks have dedicated units to advise their wealth management clients on matters related to philanthropy. Credit Suisse Private Banking Asia Pacific is one of them, having created SymAsia five years ago to help its clients set up charitable foundations. Singapore has been very much part of Asia's growing philanthropic community. The Singapore Government has moved to encourage more giving.

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