Our Pledge Towards Sustainability

Our pledge towards sustainability


As a leading ASEAN bank, our greater purpose is to advance customers and society towards a sustainable and low carbon future. In line with this, we integrate economic, environmental and social (EES) considerations into all aspects of our business. 


Sustainability is one of the key elements of our strategic theme to become a purpose-driven organisation. Our strategy is two-pronged. We commit to investing resources and influencing our networks to reduce negative EES impacts, while creating a net positive impact through our business activities.

Our Philosophy

CIMB Group's business philosophy centers on enduring impact beyond short-term gains. With a legacy spanning over four decades, we drive progress as a financial institution, meeting present expectations while safeguarding the future. Our core mission in banking revolves around fostering empowered growth, enabled by sustainable practices that benefit everyone.​

Our accountability extends to our business's influence on both the planet and society. We are committed to responsible operations, aiming to create a net positive impact that aligns with our vision of a better future. This commitment drives us to optimise resources, capabilities and influence for positive economic, environmental, and social change. Our forward-looking approach aims at building a sustainable legacy for CIMB and its stakeholders, including employees, customers and communities.​


We focus on two key aspects for net positive impact. Firstly, minimising our footprint entails reducing negative effects from our operations and enabled activities. This involves conducting environmental and social risk assessments, integrating best management practices and reducing carbon footprint across our value chain.​

Secondly, maximising our handprint means creating positive impacts. We achieve this by offering financial services aligned to our Green, Social, Sustainable Impact Products and Services (GSSIPS) framework. Our commitment extends to supporting SMEs, promoting financial inclusion, and sustainable development through partnerships and awareness-building efforts.


Our Sustainability Principles

Through our ASEAN-wide presence,  we can play a significant role in shaping the sustainability landscape in the region. Our pledge of #CIMBforTomorrow means that we aim to use our influence to not only improve the environmental, social and governance practices within our own operations, but to create net positive impacts for everyone connected to the Group. This is encapsulated in our Sustainability Principles, which are embedded in our organisational purpose and Forward23+ strategy:


  • Proactively integrate economic, environmental and social considerations in our business decisions, including financing, investments, and procurement, and in managing our people and operational impacts


  • Recognise and be guided by internationally accepted principles from key organisations to promote responsible business performance


  • Exercise a precautionary approach, taking due care and diligence to evaluate, adopt and advocate measures that will prevent and minimise environmental harm as well as promote social equality and equity


  • Create net positive impact, adopting an inclusive approach to positively influence our business relations in their sustainability performance, and taking a holistic approach in striving for a just transition to a greener economy


  • Engage actively and openly with our stakeholders regarding the management of sustainability risk, and to identify opportunities for sustainable development

Sustainable Development Goals


In keeping with our inclusive growth strategy, we support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This definitive plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity is anchored by the 17 SDGs.


Based on our material matters, sector exposure, and areas of our direct impact and influence, we have prioritised 7 of the 17 SDGs. All our sustainability efforts, programmes and initiatives, performance tracking, and impact reporting in relation to our focus areas are structured and designed to meet specific targets of our 7 priority SDGs.

Net Zero by 2050


We are committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) scope 1 and 2 emissions in our operations by 2030 and overall net zero GHG by 2050 (including scope 3 and financed emissions), in line with Nationally Determined Contributions and the 1.5 degrees scenario of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Phasing out of coal by 2040


We have committed to phasing out coal by 2040. We aim to halve our financing and investment exposure to the thermal coal mining sector by 2030 as an interim target. You may refer to the coal sector guide in the Sustainable Finance Framework, and our white paper for more information.

No Deforestation, No Expansion on Peat and No Exploitation


We have a No Deforestation, No Expansion on Peat and No Exploitation commitment which integrates biodiversity, ecosystem integrity, waste and water management into financing assessments and other business decisions.

RM150 million community investment and 100,000 volunteer hours


We believe in leveraging our resources and influence to address social inequalities. Thus, we commit to invest RM150 million from 2021 to 2025 for the community, and 100,000 volunteering hours by 2024.​

Mobilising RM100 bil by 2024


We believe that the financial services sector is uniquely positioned to facilitate and support a just transition towards a low-carbon economy and bridge social gaps. Thus, we have made the conscientious decision to commit to mobilise RM100 billion in Green, Social, Sustainable Impact Products and Services between 2021 to 2024.​

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Sustainable Trade Finance Working Group 


We are an active member of the ICC Sustainable Trade Finance Working Group, an initiative that was set up in 2016 to develop best practice standards for sustainable trade. 



International Sustainability Standards Board 


We recognise that the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), driven by a commitment to the public interest, is actively formulating standards designed to establish a robust and comprehensive global framework for sustainability disclosures. Increased transparency and harmonisation of sustainability and climate-related disclosures among corporates will benefit CIMB as an information user and enable us to more accurately assess and monitor our climate risk at both client and portfolio levels.



Net Zero Banking Alliance 


We are the first ASEAN bank to join the NZBA, which forms part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). Members of NZBA are committed to aligning their investments and lending with Net Zero emissions by 2050. The alliance works to reinforce, accelerate and support the implementation of decarbonisation strategies, providing an internationally coherent framework and guidelines, supported by peer learning.



Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials 


We estimated our financed emissions using the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) methodology, the recommended calculation methodology for financed emissions under the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to achieve our Net Zero by 2050 commitment.



United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initative: Principles of Responsible Banking 


We became one of the Founding Signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking, committing to strategically align its business with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.  As a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Banking, CIMB joins a coalition of 142 banks worldwide, representing over 41% of global banking assets, committed to play a crucial role towards achieving a sustainable future.



United Nations Global Compact


We are a participant of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and a member of the Malaysia network. Launched in 2000, the UNGC is a leading voluntary initiative that encourages global businesses to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies based on ten principles covering human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.



CEO Action Network 


We co-founded CAN with our partner, IMPACTO, in 2020 to create a closed-door peer-to-peer informal network of CEOs and board members committed to driving sustainable action in corporate Malaysia. With more than 70 members from over 20 critical sectors, CAN aspires to catalyse its members and the broader economy towards proactively shaping future-ready and ESG-integrated business models and ecosystems.



Joint Committee on Climate Change


We play an active role in the Joint Committee on Climate Change (JC3), co-chaired by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC). JC3 works to mobilise collective action in Malaysia’s financial sector to promote climate resilience both within the sector and in the wider economy. The inputs, insights, and recommendations arising from JC3 are used to shape sustainability policies and regulations set by BNM and the SC. Currently, CIMB co-chairs the JC3 Subcommittee on Governance and Disclosure.



Value Based Intermediation


We are strong advocates of BNM’s Value-Based Intermediation (VBI), which aims to deliver the intended outcomes of Shariah through practices, conduct and offerings that generate positive and sustainable value for the economy, community, and environment, and are consistent with the commitment to benefitting shareholders’ sustainable returns and long-term interests. CIMB Islamic is currently part of the sub-working group for the VBI Financing and Investment Impact Assessment Framework (VBIAF) Sectoral Guide on Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.