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Our Pledge Towards Sustainability


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 future. In line with this, we integrate economic, environmental and social (EES) considerations into all aspects of our business. 


Our strategy is two-pronged. We commit to investing resources and influencing networks to reduce negative EES impacts. We also aspire to create a net positive impact through our business activities.


Sustainability as one of the key elements of our strategic theme to become a purpose-driven organisation. As we strive to be a top quartile bank in ASEAN under our Forward23+ strategy, we target to achieve the 75th percentile of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) ranking by 2024. 


Our Sustainability Roadmap 

Our Purpose - Advancing Customers and Society

We place our customers at the heart of everything we do. The 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us and as we strive to be the disruptor and not the disrupted, we will not limit ourselves to the boundaries of banking as we know it today. We advocate sustainable practices, both for ourselves as an organisation and our customers as we progress forward.

Pillar 1: Sustainable Action


Our approach to integrating sustainability principles into our business practices.


Find out more here

Pillar 2: Sustainable Business


Our intent to generate profit in a responsible manner while creating positive impacts through our products and services.


Find out more here

Pillar 4: Governance and Risk


Our systems and procedures for monitoring, managing, measuring and reporting EES risks and opportunities.


Find out more here

Pillar 5: Stakeholder Engagement and Advocacy

Our endeavour to engage internal and external stakeholders for awareness and build capacity to inspire sustainability leadership.


Find out more here

Our Net Zero Whitepaper

Sustainability Reports 

Our Philosophy


Our philosophy for business goes beyond short-term profits. With a rich legacy of over four decades, CIMB Group continues to be a progressive financial institution, fulfilling not only the expectations of our stakeholders today, but safeguarding the needs of future generations.


Our core business of banking aspires to fulfill the promise of a better future, where economic growth empowers people and businesses, creates new opportunities, and reduces social inequalities. With sustainable banking practices, we operate to achieve growth that is meaningful for everyone who shares this vision.


This also means that we acknowledge the impacts of our business as well as our people on the planet as well as society. Our commitment is to operate in a way where we assume accountability and responsibility towards our actions, while minimising negative impacts and creating net positive impact. In short, our promise of a better future inspires us to optimise our capabilities, resources, and influence for creating positive economic, environmental and social impact.


‘Banking for the Future’ is our philosophy for taking a long-term view on business. We want to be on the right side of history by helping to build a sustainable future for CIMB and our partners in growth, including our employees, customers and communities.


Our Guiding Principles


CIMB’s approach to sustainability (including risk management) is guided by the following key principles:


Our Priority UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


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


UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) was launched by 132 banks from 49 countries, representing more than USD47 trillion in assets, in September 2019. CIMB is a founding member and the first ASEAN signatory. Part of our commitment is to also mobilise and influence our networks, including clients, industry bodies, peers, regulators and policy makers to understand the PRB and their application in banking. As at October 2020, over 190 signatories have signed up to the PRB.



There are 6 principles that provide the framework for a sustainable banking system. These principles help accelerate the banking industry’s positive contribution to society, in keeping with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. 



Learn more about the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB).


Collective Commitment to Climate Action

In addition to adopting UNEP FI PRB, CIMB and 37 leading global banks (as at 1 October 2020) also signed the Collective Commitment to Climate Action. This groundbreaking pledge sets out concrete and time-bound actions that banks will take to scale-up their contribution and align their lending with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate.


As a signatory, we are accelerating our plans to reinforce our continued commitment to support national, regional as well as international efforts in building a low-carbon and climate-resilient world.


Find out more about the Collective Commitment to Climate Action.

Our Scorecard


Using the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as a measure of progress, we target to be in the 75th percentile of global banks. We have progressed from 19th percentile in 2018 to 63rd percentile in 2020.


We have also determined our preliminary indicators of measuring the impact of our 5-year Sustainability Roadmap. A comprehensive target-setting exercise of the preliminary indicators (below) is currently in progress:



Key Performance Highlights


With 2019 being the first year of our 5-year Sustainability Roadmap, it was a year for us to build the right foundation to anchor our five sustainability pillars or focus areas. CIMB's near-term objectives have been to raise awareness, build capability, garner support from our network of stakeholders, and motivate action. In the mid to long-term, our aspiration is to influence, shape and forward the sustainability agenda in the ASEAN region.


Our key performance highlights are summarised based on our five sustainability pillars or focus areas (all data provided as at 31 December 2019).


Sustainable Action





Sustainable Business





Corporate Social Responsibility





Governance and Risk





For more information about our Board of Director's training, please view it here.

Stakeholder Engagement and Advocacy





From Commitment to Action

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