Combining Islamic Financeand Sustainability -sacred principles, new paradigm

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Islamic Sustainable Finance: Tayyib Inspired approach to Islamic sustainable investing


Islamic Sustainable Investing Platform - a listing of independently assessed, validated and showcased Islamic investment products that are directly aligned to sustainability goals

The world faces a global climate and nature crisis and increasing calls for stakeholder capitalism whereby the financial system works for people and planet alongside profit. Sustainable investing and Islamic finance have many shared principles such as stewardship of the environment, protecting worker rights and having positive social contribution.

The Islamic Sustainable Investing Platform (the Platform) is inspired and framed by the Islamic concept of “Tayyib” (pure, wholesome, and impactful). It complements the existing “halal” paradigm successfully built by the early Islamic finance pioneers and supports the development of the Islamic asset management sector. At its heart it seeks to reflect Shariah compliance coupled with enhanced focus on active sustainable (also referred to as ESG/Responsible) investing framed by Islamic values.

Initiatives such as the UAE Central Bank HSA Guiding Principles Regarding Islamic Sustainable Finance, Securities Commission Malaysia (SC)  principles-based Maqasid Al-Shariah Guidance for Islamic Capital Market Malaysia and it’s SRI Sukuk framework along with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Value-based Intermediation (VBI) Financing and Investment Impact Assessment Framework are leading examples in the move towards sustainability.

Independent assessment, validation and showcasing of Islamic investment products that are directly aligned to sustainability goals

The Platform is administered by the Tayyib Secretariat  which was launched at COP28. The Secretariat aims to amplify existing sustainability initiatives and develop market tools (such as the Platform) to support financial institutions in combining sustainable investing and Islamic finance.

Aims & Objectives: towards creating a more sustainable, inclusive and equitable world


1

Empowering growth

Responsible investing is rapidly growing and is projected to surpass $30 trillion by 2026. This presents a compelling business opportunity for Islamic asset managers to access diverse agnostic global sustainability linked liquidity pools, enabling them to attract new mandates. Furthermore, many of these liquidity pools target deployment in the global south, a natural realm for numerous Islamic asset managers.

2

Encouraging innovation and expanding choice for existing Islamic finance consumers

Using Islamic sustainable finance principles to develop new innovative sustainability linked products expands the current product offering. This can include solutions for customers wishing to have their Islamic pensions aligned with net zero goals.

3

Global collaboration and enhanced participation

Combining approaches benefits both conventional and Islamic markets.

Islamic principles can present additional perspectives and solutions to challenges and tension points emerging within the global conventional sustainable market. With over 1.6bn Muslims globally ensuring all voices are included in addressing the “S” in ESG enables a more considered and relevant solutions.

Contemporary Islamic Finance has principally grown from an exclusionary basis. The sector can benefit from the considerable global developments in sustainability classification, reporting (e.g GRI) and accounting frameworks and approaches to issues such as nature and biodiversity (e.g. TNFD).

Background - a market driven initiative


The Islamic finance sector is valued at over $4 trillion and spans prominent financial hubs across the globe, including London, Luxembourg, Dublin, Istanbul, Dubai, Bahrain, and Kuala Lumpur. The early pioneers of Islamic finance skilfully created Shariah-compliant "halal" options, driving financial inclusion and GDP growth.

The “Tayyib inspired” approach seeks to build on this success, with the introduction of enhanced sustainability considerations through producing practical market tools for asset managers.

Project Tayyib is a market driven initiative, building on several years of market assessment and formally commissioned in 2022 by the UK Islamic Finance Council (UKIFC) together with the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI). Market analysis undertaken has validated the demand and brought together partners reflecting a genuine global collaboration with stakeholders from the UK, Malaysia and the GCC.

An increase in global initiatives seeking to enhance sustainability considerations within Islamic Financial Institutions (IFI) illustrate the growing prominence of sustainability. From a shariah lens, certain approaches utilise legal (fiqhi) categorisations of mandoob, wajib, makrooh (recommended, obligatory, highly discouraged) and others utilise the lens of a deeper reflection on the Maqasid al-Shariah (objectives of Shariah).  Collectively, these initiatives are welcomed and share an underlying core intent that can build a stronger movement towards making better, more inclusive and climate conscious financial markets.

Developing a market tool


In developing the Platform approach key principles considered included:

> The Shariah law is the “north-star” within the Islamic world. Using the aforementioned Islamic shariah principles is a central consideration. The sanctity of the existing shariah compliance approach cannot be compromised to improve sustainability factors.

> Referencing the current state of mainstream responsible investing across the proliferation of ESG frameworks and the challenges being faced by asset managers in applying these. Understanding such can proactively avoid duplication, minimise the barrier to adoption and ensure solutions are practicably implementable in global capital markets.

> Understanding that sustainable finance is a journey not just a destination requires ongoing R&D developing pertinent investment principles and indicators.

Market Approach Led by Practitioners

Referencing Leading Frameworks

Applying a “Shariah Lens” to Identify Additionality

Videos

Dr. Mohamed Ali Elgari

I have no doubts that Islamic principles can have a positive impact in the global transition to a more sustainable and equitable economy. I urge the Islamic finance industry to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and to work collaboratively in the ESG finance space to create a more sustainable future for all.

Chair Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI)


Dame Susan Rice

“With global growth in sustainable finance, it is an opportune moment for the Tayyib concept and the beautiful principles it encapsulates to come to the fore in Islamic finance.”

Chair Steering Committee, Project Tayyib


Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar

“The development of the GEFI Tayyib Seal is a groundbreaking first step, this collaborative effort paves the way for a dynamic and transformative intersection of Islamic finance and ESG considerations.”

The Secretariat


Launched at COP28, the Tayyib Secretariat represents a global collaboration involving the UK, UAE and Malaysia. The Secretariat is co-managed by GEFI and the UKIFC and supported by ISRA Consulting. The Host Financial Centre is UAE based DIFC. The appointed Technical Partner is PwC Dubai. An Advisory Panel (representing shariah scholars, multilateral bodies, and select industry developmental stakeholders) and an Industry Consultation Group will be established to support the Secretariat. Interested applicants may contact the Secretariat.

Advocacy

The Secretariat will promote Islamic sustainable investing with a view to contribute and collaborate with key stakeholders in both the Islamic finance and conventional ESG/sustainable finance arenas. This approach will allow for the Islamic finance sector to benefit from developments in mainstream sustainable finance and contribute it's voice to help inform discussions and shape developments in the global mainstream markets.

Research

The Secretariat will build on the initial research undertaken to further refine Islamic sustainable investing principles and indicators across select investment asset classes (including, ECM, sukuk, RE and PE as a proxy for impact investment).  Research will be done in cooperation with Islamic scholars and supported by academia and practitioners. Regular assessment, supported by GEFI, of mainstream ESG frameworks will be undertaken to ensure relevant developments are incorporated.

Steering Committee members


Azman Mokhtar Steering Committee Chair

Cliff Prior

David Sheasby

Kate Walsh

Muneer Khan

Noman Tahir

N. Tariq Shaikh

Omar Shaikh

Salman Siddiqui

About Us


The Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC)

The UKIFC was established in 2005 as a specialist advisory and developmental body focused on promoting and enhancing the global Islamic and ethical finance industry. The UKIFC has remained committed to its guiding principle of making a tangible, positive impact to the sector. The team has advised governments, authored technical reports, presented at international conferences and developed training programmes which, collectively, have changed global regulation and played a leading role in exploring the relationship between Islamic finance and the broader ethical finance arena.


Global Ethical Finance Initiative

The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) oversees, organises and coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change.  It brings together the world’s business, political, and social leaders to build a fairer finance system for people and the planet.

Acknowledgements


Project Tayyib kicked off in 2022 with extensive research being undertaken over a 12 month period to COP28. This was commissioned and lead by the UKIFC and GEFI research teams. This initial “problematization” phase has identified critical ontological challenges, ESG application issues (convergence and divergence) and potential areas of additionality (value add).

We would like to express our thanks and gratitude to the below organisations, who formed a temporary Steering Committee for the initial aforementioned research period providing guidance to the UKIFC and GEFI research team.

Our particular thanks and acknowledgment to Nadeem Haq, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, Omar Shaikh, Muneer Khan and the ISRA team for their extensive efforts.

Supporting Organisations - thank you!


Tayyib Inspired Resources


GEFI Path to COP28 Campaign »

Global Islamic Finance & UN SDGs Taskforce »

Islamic Finance Global Survey »

Driving Climate Action in the GCC »

How to encourage greater Islamic investment in sustainable finance »

Project Tayyib: Bridging Values and Finance »

GEFI Industry Updates »

An Ethical Convergence: Islamic Finance and ESG Principles »

From Halal to Tayyib,  Islamic Finance & the SDGs 2021 Virtual Summit »

Financing a Sustainable Future: Green and Sustainability Sukuk Report 2022 »

Securities Commission Malaysia Maqasid Al-Shariah Guidance »

An Ethical Convergence: Islamic Finance and ESG Principles »

Tayyib Inspired Resources


COP28 in Dubai: The landscape of climate commitments in the GCC

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How to encourage greater Islamic investment in sustainable finance

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