Becoming an ASEAN sustainability leader by 2024 (The Edge Markets)

Having steadily integrated sustainability into its business over the years, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd recently announced a series of strengthened sustainability commitments, which put the regional banking group on track towards becoming an ASEAN sustainability leader by 2024.

“Under our Forward23+ Strategic Plan, which was introduced in 2020, one of our strategic themes is to be a purpose-driven organisation. As part of this, we aim to embrace sustainable practices and actively shape our role in society.

“Today, sustainability is already at the core of our business. We actively engage clients and all stakeholders to promote financial services aligned with sustainability principles,” says CIMB Group chairman Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad, stressing the importance of financial institutions as agents of sustainable change and to strike a balance between people, planet and profit.

Mohd Nasir, who joined the board in 2015 and became chairman in 2018, has had a front row seat to the group’s sustainability journey.

In addition to being an official supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, CIMB is ASEAN’s only banking group to be a founding member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative Principles for Responsible Banking, as well as ASEAN’s first banking group to be a signatory of the Collective Commitment on Climate Action and the Net-Zero Banking Alliance. As a member of these global initiatives and alliances, CIMB Group has made great strides since embarking on its sustainable agenda.

Mohd Nasir adds that the recently announced sustainability commitments, which encompass climate change, responsible banking and social impact, build upon the progress and achievements already made by the group over the past few years (see “CIMB Group’s sustainability journey thus far”).

The strengthened commitments include the group’s target to mobilise RM30 billion towards sustainable finance by 2024 – of which RM10 billion has already been achieved to date – and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“We are very pleased that our efforts in recent years have been recognised, as we have now broken into the top quartile ranking for the banking industry based on the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment as of Nov 12, 2021, for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. This was our target to achieve by 2024, and the whole leadership team at CIMB are certainly proud to see that we have achieved the 79th percentile this year, earlier than planned, from the 19th percentile just three years ago,” he added.

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The Edge Markets

6 December 2021