KUALA LUMPUR (March 23): Malayan Banking Bhd’s (Maybank) insurance and takaful arm Etiqa International Holdings Sdn Bhd (EIH) has become the first insurer in Malaysia to sign on to the United Nations’ (UN) Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) under the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).
Through this initiative, Etiqa will incorporate the four principles for sustainable insurance — as presented by the UN in its business strategy — by embedding in decision-making environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues relevant to its business; working together with its clients and business partners to raise awareness of ESG issues, manage risk and develop solutions; working together with governments, regulators and other key stakeholders to promote widespread action across society on ESG issues; and demonstrating accountability and transparency in regularly disclosing publicly their progress in implementing the principles.
“Our vision to 'Making the world a better place’ supports the very essence of the good that we can bring to the industry and the global community at large. We believe that for every action that we take, its impact will resonate far and wide in the world of sustainability. We look forward to joining other sector leaders in playing our role in leaving a legacy worthy for our future generations,” EIH chairman Datuk R Karunakaran said in a statement on Thursday (March 23).
EIH group chief executive officer Kamaludin Ahmad said that in 2019, Etiqa had responded to the call by Bank Negara Malaysia for companies to adopt value-based intermediation, which is the Islamic equivalent of ESG.
"Since then, we have implemented sustainable practices, and embraced our position in balancing the equation between people, the planet and profit, in the way that we carry out our insurance and takaful business. Our four-year journey between 2019 to 2022 saw us establishing our sustainability governance, spreading sustainability awareness, tracking our sustainability baselines, and moving towards external facing sustainable initiatives.
"We are honoured now to be able to declare to the global community that we are ready to disclose our progress in sustainability transparently, according to the four principles of PSI in line with our vision," he added.
The UNEP FI is a partnership between the UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilise private-sector finance to help create a financial sector that serves people and the planet while delivering positive impact. The UNEP FI works with more than 400 members comprising banks, insurers and investors, and over 100 supporting institutions.