Press Releases


Sustainability Forum Middle East Announces GIB as “ESG Partner” for its Inaugural Edition on Business Transition to Net-Zero

Sustainability Forum Middle East today announced Gulf International Bank (GIB) as the “ESG Partner” for its upcoming inaugural edition focusing on “Business Transition to Net-Zero – the Path Towards a Successful Low-Carbon Future”. 


Taking place in the Kingdom of Bahrain on 12 January 2023, the forum will bring together more than 300 senior decision-makers and sustainability experts to discuss regional decarbonisation and share experiences and solutions for helping the private sector mobilise and implement strategies for achieving net-zero goals.  


GIB is already a leader in sustainability and a ESG partner for governments and clients across the region. The bank launched a comprehensive Sustainability Strategy in 2021 putting sustainability at the heart of its business and operations including prioritising actions related to decarbonisation. GIB has also been pioneering the use of green financing instruments and is cooperating on a range of initiatives targeting climate action and supporting the net-zero ambitions of regional governments. 


GIB coordinated the issuance of green financing instruments for a range of clients in the GCC. In 2021, the bank closed its own US$625 million sustainability-linked syndicated loan (SLL), making it the first Bahrain-headquartered bank and the first majority Saudi-owned bank to close such a facility. Most recently, in October 2022, GIB became a partner in Saudi Arabia’s Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) initiative, launched by the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), and took part in the world’s largest-ever carbon credit auction of 1.4 million tonnes, purchasing carbon credits that, alongside other initiatives, offset the bank’s entire 2021 emissions.  


The forum will kick off with a keynote on the outcomes of the recently concluded COP27 in Egypt and a look ahead to COP28, which is set to take place in the UAE in 2023. The programme will go on to cover a range of topics including the urgency to meet net-zero targets, the ambitions of the MENA governments and where we are today, financing for the transition, the integration of renewables, and the evolution of climate regulation, among others.


Comprised of a series of keynote addresses, panel sessions and interactive workshops, the forum’s agenda has been designed to help companies across sectors, especially SMEs, understand how to develop effective sustainability and decarbonisation strategies and, importantly, how to begin taking practical steps to move their organisations towards a low-carbon future. 


Jamal AlKishi, CEO at GIB B.S.C., said, “In line with GIB’s commitment to promoting sustainability and climate action, we’re pleased to back the first edition of the Sustainability Forum Middle East as its “ESG Partner”. The role of the financial sector in funding and accelerating the transition of the regional economies towards net zero is a crucial one, and an objective that GIB is dedicated to and already taking significant strides to support. We look forward to discussing strategies and sharing our experience with peers and the many companies that need to mobilise and begin their decarbonisation journeys.” 


Ms. Laila Danesh, Managing Director at FinMark Communications, the forum’s founder, and organiser, added, “We’re delighted to announce GIB’s partnership with the forum. The bank is already making great contributions to building the region’s sustainability culture and decarbonisation efforts. The participation of its leadership and sustainability teams will add great value to the forum and further enrich what we hope will be a day of interactive discussions and an opportunity for knowledge sharing and practical hands-on learning. Our aim is to leverage the know-how and experience of our partners, like GIB, to help move private-sector companies, especially SMEs, one step closer to starting the transition of their businesses to net-zero.”


The forum is also being supported by Strategic Partner, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Lead Partner - Sustainable Infrastructure, Infracorp, Lead Partner – Standard Chartered, Energy Partner – nogaholding, Knowledge Partner, National Bank of Bahrain, and Forum Partner, Alba. For more information on how to support and take part, please contact

Gulf International Bank B.S.C. Licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain as a local Conventional Wholesale Bank and as a Conventional Retail Bank (branch) C.R. 4660