Banque Misr signed the United Nations Environment Programme's Finance Initiative. The initiative aims at achieving sustainable development and social and environmental responsibility by institutions. This latest move places Banque Misr among responsible banks that conduct their business in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. The announcement was made during the United Nations General Assembly annual meeting that took place on 22 September 2019 in New York. The assembly meeting is the official platform for launching the Responsible Banking Principles. Around 130 banks have taken part in the initiative representing a global total volume of assets of around $47 trillion. Participation in the initiative is an acknowledgment of the banks of their adherence to the development principles for sustainable growth.
The Principles for Responsible Banking initiative, with principles that are for the first time in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, aims at developing sustainable economies and enabling communities to build a better future through sustainable banking practices. Banks being the development engines in societies, play a key role; and banking services rely on the trust of customers and the trust of the society as a whole that is placed on financial institutions to cater to its needs and to serve it in a responsible manner. Success and viability of these financial institutions essentially depends on taking into account the long-term prosperity of the communities they serve. In an inclusive society that is based on human dignity, equality and the sustainable use of natural resources, prosperity of both current and future generations can be achieved. The initiative aims at having banks play a leading role through the use of its products and services to support and accelerate fundamental changes in the economies and lifestyles necessary to achieve such prosperity.
The Principles for Responsible Banking initiative puts a framework for a sustainable banking system by having financial institutions adapt their strategies to be aligned with the interests of individuals and society, while maximizing the positive effects and minimizing the negative effects of their businesses whether at the level of individuals or communities. The initiative principles also make sure that all relevant parties operate responsibly. The initiative promotes sound practices of sustainability as well as solid governance rules to achieve its principles, while committing to transparency and accountability in relation to positive and negative impacts and contributing to the achievement of society's goals.
Banque Misr was keen on taking part in this initiative as part of its leading role in the field of social responsibility as the first Egyptian government-owned bank to report on its business operations according to the GRI standards. The GRI standards mean that the business activities are compliant with sustainability principles through governance, human rights, anti-corruption, society participation, environmental standards, transparency, and disclosure. By the end of 2015, Banque Misr was the first national bank to adhere to the UN Global Compact standards for "corporate social responsibility".
As a leading financial institution in Egypt, Banque Misr gives great importance to corporate social responsibility and adheres to the UN Global Compact ten standards which include the following; non-discrimination, equality, human rights, abolition of human labour, health and safety, governance and anti-corruption. The bank also takes into consideration all other standards in relation to achieving sustainability through assessing the environmental impact of activities related to performance indicators on all fronts.