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TEXT: Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards and their implementation – often referred to simply as sustainability – are having an impact on all sectors of society. In a developing country like Pakistan, it is also the need of the hour and thus a compulsion for organizations to make it a part of their purpose. However, this is not true in most cases, but a sector which seems to have taken the lead on this front is the insurance sector. It is hardly surprising that insurance companies, with increasing frequency and at greater depth, are playing a leading role with respect to ESG.

Whether it concerns climate change and repercussions attached to it, growing threat of pandemics and other health related issues, or any financial dent on already inflation ridden circumstances, insurance helps to save lives, speed up recovery and reduce long-term impact on the economy. Ultimately, safer countries and cities are more attractive to citizens, businesses, and investors. Resilience strategies strengthen the ability to meet the challenges of the future.

Salaam Takaful Limited, being the largest dedicated general takaful operator and first Islamic insurtech in Pakistan, is one of the most vocal supporters of ESG and its true practitioners in Pakistan.

On the environmental side we constantly push for a greener future, both internally and externally. Our initiatives in green financing remain relevant today as well as in the upcoming future, as we continue to minimize consumption. We made it a point to make Salaam Takaful a pioneer in bringing digitization within the takaful industry, so much so, that our organizational processes are completely paperless, with an objective of digitizing all that we do. Not only this, but we have also adopted a Net Zero approach by devising an action plan which will show meaningful results by shedding carbon footprint and increasing green marks.Net Zero is an important concept because it addresses one of the key drivers of climate change. Plantation drive is one of the initiatives we have recently taken to take more strides to achieve this objective.

If we talk about the social aspect in ESG, Salaam Takaful has again a lot of feathers in the cap. Takaful itself is based on the idea of social protection which is a structure of mutual cooperation and solidarity for the purpose of protecting the weak and vulnerable in society. This reflects that our very existence is for the betterment of the society in general. Besides, arrangement of health and wellness camps, introduction of parametric based crops for farmers resilience, launch of MTO programme for Madaris graduates, Qarz-e-Hasna for deserving university students, promoting gender equality and women empowerment, and impacting thousands of lives through our health programs are few of the other notable contributions of Salaam Takaful Limited.

Governance is not something new for us. Our founders understood transparency as a key foundation and embedded those principles in our culture. Salaam Takaful limited has an independent Shariah Board with representation from all leading schools of thought, which advises us on all products we offer to our potential prospects. Moreover, our external audit is carried out by one of the big four audit firms in Pakistan and internal audit is also done under the guidelines of another big 4 audit firms in Pakistan. For this we have spared no cost on our commitments to governance and transparency. In fact, we have tried to take those extra steps and set an example for those around us. Due to superior emphasis on disclosures and transparency, with the essence of always doing the right thing, Salaam Takaful Limited is a regular recipient of top awards from ICAP and ICMAP for its Annual Corporate and Sustainability Reports and has been regularly conferred with accolades from South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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