By Rosemarie Khoo Mohd Sani
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 -- Bank Rakyat is striving to achieve all the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) in line with its aspiration of becoming a sustainable bank in Malaysia.
Chairman Datuk Noripah Kamso said although it required a lot of effort, initiatives and time, this would, at the end, translate into having a more inclusive and sustainable community and country.
“We’re not just serving as a cooperative and an Islamic bank, but are also seriously embracing and incorporating SDGs throughout the value chain, including within the people in our bank, clients, vendors and multi-stakeholders.
“We’re progressing with our five-year strategic plan called BR25 and currently looking into working closely with government agencies (such as the Department of Statistics) and various stakeholders to detail out the blueprint that we are crafting,” she told Bernama speaking as a panellist at the Malaysia SDG Summit 2019 on Establishing A Whole Nation Approach Towards Achieving The SDGs here today.
Among the blueprint's topics are small and medium enterprises, sustainability and Islamic leadership.
Noripah also said Bank Rakyat, to encourage more understanding and awareness on SDGs, had started to link its sustainability aspiration with all the strategies comprehensively.
“For example, if we want to give out loans, we will make sure that it will not only pass through credit assessment and be shariah compliant, but also be sustainable compliant.
“This may take more time in terms of screening and processes but over time, we think this change is positive and good to shift the way people do business, as we want it to be more sustainable such as involving the renewable technologies and recycling activities,” she said.
Noripah said while the move towards sustainability was seen as fashionable by most banks in this country, she hoped that it was not used as a strategy to misled the public.
“We’re cautious as we worry there is 'greenwashing’, whereby companies say they are involved in sustainability but it is actually meant for marketing purposes,” she said.
In embarking on its sustainability effort, Bank Rakyat has partnered with the UN in May this year and has been named as the first cooperative bank in Malaysia that is accredited by the UN as working towards SDG aspiration.