Emirates NBD launches Sustainable Finance Framework


As part of its long-term commitment to sustainability, Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye) region, has launched its Sustainable Finance Framework. The new Framework allows for the issuance of green and sustainable debt instruments to finance projects which enable the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy. The Framework also allows for the issuance of social debt instruments leading to a positive societal impact.

The Framework will cover Emirates NBD Group entities such as Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, DenizBank and Emirates NBD Asset Management and will accelerate the Group’s efforts when it comes to innovative sustainable finance offerings. HSBC and ING acted as Sustainability structuring banks in developing the Framework which is in line with the Group’s ambition to promote further lending and investments into assets with a positive environmental and social impact. The Framework will assist Emirates NBD in reaching the UAE’s ambitious Sustainability Development Goals and targets set forth by the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN SDGs, while also ensuring the necessary due diligence and international best practice are in place to mitigate ESG risks. 

The Framework comprehensively outlines the fundamental constituents of the Principles and Guidelines set forth by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and Loan Market Association, Green Bond Principles 2021, Social Bond Principles 2023, Sustainability Bond Guidelines 2021, Green Loan Principles 2023 and Social Loan Principles 2023. These core components encompass the Use of Proceeds, Process for Project Evaluation and Selection, the Management of Proceeds, Reporting and as well as the recommendations outlined for External Review, which collectively serve as the cornerstones of their established guidelines. 

Commenting on the announcement, Shayne Nelson, Group CEO at Emirates NBD, said: “We are delighted to publish our Sustainable Finance Framework, reinforcing Emirates NBD’s commitment towards sustainability. As a leading banking group in the region, Emirates NBD is fully aligned with the UAE’s pro-climate, pro-growth philosophy. This Framework empowers Emirates NBD and our customers to help deliver the UAE’s journey to Net Zero emissions by 2050 and meet the ambitious interim reduction targets.”

At Emirates NBD, we firmly believe that finance plays a key role in sustainability,” said Vijay Bains, Group Chief Sustainability Officer and Group Head of ESG at Emirates NBD. “Our Framework will ease access to ESG labelled finance in alignment with COP28’s pledge to unleash finance for climate change. By issuing sustainable finance instruments including bonds, sukuk and other debt instruments, we will provide enhanced transparency around funded projects and assets that carry environmental and social benefits.” 

Emirates NBD’s sustainability strategy is aligned with prominent global and national frameworks, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UAE’s Vision 2030, and the United Nations Environmental Programme Dubai Declaration for Sustainable Finance, which marks the Group’s commitment to transforming the UAE into a green, low-carbon economy in support of the UAE Centennial 2071’s sustainability agenda. 

Emirates NBD stands as a pioneer in sustainability reporting, having initiated formal reporting on its sustainability endeavours in 2016 with the release of its inaugural Sustainability Report. As part of the Group’s efforts to achieving net-zero goals, Emirates NBD recently signed the UAE Climate-Responsible Companies Pledge initiated by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment aligned with the Group’s commitment to supporting the UAE’s decarbonization efforts. Furthermore, the Group continues to forge meaningful sustainability and innovation focused collaborations with other private sector companies and government entities in its effort to mitigate climate change. Emirates NBD has also obtained a Second Party Opinion (SPO) on the Framework from ISS Corporate Solutions (ISS).

About Emirates NBD:

Emirates NBD (DFM: Emirates NBD) is a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye) region with a presence in 13 countries, serving over 20 million customers. As at 30th June 2023, total assets were AED 811 billion, (equivalent to approx. USD 221 billion). The Group has operations in the UAE, Egypt, India, Türkiye, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Russia and Bahrain and representative offices in China and Indonesia with a total of 854 branches and 4,173 ATMs / SDMs. Emirates NBD is the leading financial services brand in the UAE with a Brand value of USD 3.89 billion.  

Emirates NBD Group serves its customers (individuals, businesses, governments, and institutions) and helps them realise their financial objectives through a range of banking products and services including retail banking, corporate and institutional banking, Islamic banking, investment banking, private banking, asset management, global markets and treasury, and brokerage operations. The Group is a key participant in the global digital banking industry with 97% of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside of its branches. The Group also operates Liv, the lifestyle digital bank by Emirates NBD, with close to half a million users, it continues to be the fastest-growing bank in the region.

Emirates NBD contributes to the construction of a sustainable future as an active participant and supporter of the UAE’s main development and sustainability initiatives, including financial wellness and the inclusion of people of determination. Emirates NBD is committed to supporting the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and is an early supporter to the Dubai Can sustainability initiative, a city-wide initiative aimed to reduce use of single-use plastic bottled water.