Bank of Palestine announces strategic thrust into sustainability based on GRI principles and adoption of ESG across operations

Bank of Palestine will commence the year 2022 with a full commitment towards adoption of a holistic sustainability strategy to govern its relations with its stakeholders and account for impact on the community and environment. The bank will adopt the GRI principles in its reporting of sustainability and will factor in all elements of ESG in its operations.

This strategic direction will be building upon the bank’s deeply rooted values since inception in 1960 with a commitment to good will towards the community and employees. The bank has built a community strategy based on financial inclusion targeting SMES, women and rural areas. It’s CSR program was well diversified and targeted strategic partnerships in support of education, health, culture, sports and human development. This new thrust will leverage the enhanced digital inclusion platforms at the bank to target youth, diaspora clients and the 50% of unbanked population while paying additional attention to the environment.

To provide the right direction and empowerment of sustainability practice, the Bank has enhanced its governance structure by creating a sustainability board committee and converting the CSR department into a sustainability department with a dedicated team to manage the new thrust and strategy.

Mr. Hashim Shawa, Chairman of the Bank of Palestine Group, described this enhanced commitment to sustainability as one of the most important milestones of the year 2021. “We have managed our operations governed by our innate values and have paid attention to stakeholders and shareholders alike. However, in 2022 we are committing ourselves to do more towards our community, our staff, and our environment, by adopting international sustainability reporting standards; committing to reduction of carbon foot print and investing in our people. We are taking concrete steps and imbedding these values across operations. We are very happy that the Chair of the Sustainability Committee at the board is a person that has long experience in the development world and has led sustainability strategies in different organizations. We are today well positioned to become leaders in the area of sustainability in our market place,” concluded Mr. Shawa

Bank of Palestine received a positive scorecard from the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, in return to its commitment to the real economy and investing in people, planet and prosperity. The bank is the only member in the GABV alliance in the Middle East Region. This scorecard result has encouraged the bank to do more in enhancing its ESG policies across operations.

Dr. Tafeeda Jarbawi, Chair of the Sustainability Committee at the Bank of Palestine Board said on this development: “our mission at bank of Palestine is to ensure that sustainability is practiced at the core of the business and that the bank will continue to grow more responsibly paying attention to its stakeholders’ needs and especially the future generation. We are operating in a country with limited resources and abundant challenges, and it is only incumbent upon us in the leadership positions to ensure that we act responsibly with our resources and our environment and towards our community. With the support of the board of directors and with the hard work of the executive team we will create inroads in the bank’s sustainability thrust.”