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19.1.10

UNEPFI & Islamic Finance

Over the recent past many parallels have been drawn between Islamic finance and sustainability, with further suggestions of convergence towards its CSR and SRI cousins (for instance refer to these various articles on Islamic finance and ethics).

Recently Michael Gassner (islamicfinance.de) has highlighted how Islamic finance institutions could (and should) support the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) which aims to forge a stronger link between sustainability and financial institutions around the globe.

There are currently two signatories (out of 200) that are loosely related to Islamic finance (namely NBK and Bank Muscat) and hopefully many more will follow - membership information of UNEP FI is available here.

There is further scope if one considers the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI), so clearly much to look forward to if Islamic finance institutions truly recognize the reason for their existence. It is a difficult road ahead but something that deserves support and encouragement from all of us.

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