Setting the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Framework (ESIAF) for value-based intermediation

1st Taskforce meeting for the development of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Framework (ESIAF) for Value-based Intermediation

Kuala Lumpur, 28 June 2018 – The International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), The World Bank and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) jointly organised the 1st taskforce meeting for the development of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Framework (ESIAF) for Value-based Intermediation (VBI) at Sasana Kijang today. The meeting was attended by senior representatives of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad, Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad and the organising institutions.

The ESIAF is one of the key initiatives under VBI to provide guidance for consideration of environmental and social risk and impact in financing decisions by Islamic banks in Malaysia. A strategy paper was issued by BNM on 12 March 2018 to set out the definition and underpinning thrusts of VBI as well as the proposed implementation approach and strategies in advancing VBI to be the next strategic direction for Islamic banking sector. VBI is an intermediation function that aims to deliver the intended outcomes of Shariah through practices, conduct and offerings that generate positive and sustainable impact to the economy, community and environment; consistent with the shareholders’ sustainable returns and long-term interests.

The ESIAF taskforce was formed during a VBI Community of Practitioners meeting on 30 March this year to spearhead the strategic development of ESIAF. The taskforce is chaired by INCEIF and co-chaired by the Islamic Banking and Takaful Department of BNM. This taskforce meeting is the first of its series to kick-start the next step of the developmental process through the setting of ESIAF for the Islamic banking industry.  The ESIAF is being developed based on:

  • Established global standards such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative, World Bank Environmental and Social Framework, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards;
  • Experience and practices of global and regional sustainable banks and corporations
  • Engagement with environmental and social sustainability civil society such as the World Wide Fund for Nature, CSO-SDG Alliance; and
  • Regulatory, standard setting and certification bodies such as SIRIM QAS International, Department of Environment.

The ESIAF also takes into consideration the current landscape, maturity and readiness of environmental and social sustainability practices in Malaysia, as well as adoption of existing relevant certifications and evaluations based on national environmental and social regulations and policy priorities in the country. The ESIAF will also be supplemented by sector based policies to be developed at a later stage.

The exposure draft of the ESIAF will be issued during the Global Islamic Finance Forum (GIFF) 2018, happening on 3-4 October at Sasana Kijang, Kuala Lumpur. The entire framework is expected to be fully developed by 2020.



INCEIF was set up by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2005 to develop human capital and knowledge leadership for the global Islamic finance industry. Apart from its academic programmes, which are Masters of Islamic Finance Practice, MSc in Islamic Finance, PhD in Islamic Finance and Professional Certificates in Islamic Finance, INCEIF also offers customised executive training programmes and industry-focused applied research in line with its vision to be the knowledge and thought leader in Islamic finance.

INCEIF syllabus is structured with inputs from industry players to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and industry experience. INCEIF faculty members, who are globally respected among the Islamic finance academia and industry, have a combined wealth of experience and diversity. The faculty, coupled with continuous support from the industry, provides INCEIF students with strong mentoring relationships and opportunities for professional development.

Since 2015, INCEIF’s research has been ranked 1st in Malaysia amongst the higher education institutions in the Research Papers in Economics (RePec) rankings.  We are also the only institution to have the research of five professors recognised by RePec, among the top 30 academics in Malaysia.  We are ranked 40th in Asia as a university.  Within the Financial Economics & Finance Department category, defined by REPEC, we are ranked 30th in the world.


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