For a comprehensive overview of GFH Financial Group’s ESG initiatives and reporting, we invite you to browse through our detailed ESG report for FY2022 through the link below.

Our Commitment

Globally, we are at a crossroads to address environmental and societal issues such as climate change, poverty, and biodiversity loss as we collectively have to act in the next decades to minimise potentially massive negative impacts on communities and natural life.At GFH, we are driven by the vision of discovering, innovating, and realizing value potential across our business lines - and we recognize we can only do this by creating value for all of our stakeholders through a robust, sustainable and equitable business model.

Since our inception, we have implemented a range of initiatives related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards of operations and activities aimed at creating a lasting positive impact on our Group, investments, and the markets in which we operate.

While ESG principles are inherently present in our history, we are advancing through in implementing formalised ESG policies and frameworks to effectively manage and realise the optimal value from these initiatives.

Below are some of the major ESG initiatives we have either launched or participated in.

91%

During 2021, we achieved 91% of our ESG goals, exceeding our target of 85%.

Aligning with National Priorities
We have aligned our ESG management process with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Vision 2030, by incorporating key components that outline a sustainable path for the future.

Environmental

GFH aspires to act in a manner that minimises the detrimental environmental impacts of its operations.

Process Digitalization

The impact of COVID-19 has transformed our office operations and processes for the better. With remote work becoming a new reality, our Group has altered its internal processes by introducing new paperless ways of working and digitalized processes; such as the implementation of document management tools, reduction of paper flow between the Group and our stakeholders, encouragement and facilitation of paperless collaboration and communication between departments, and the circulation of digital newspapers and magazines instead of print publications. This shift has led to a significant reduction in paper consumption since the start of the pandemic and increased operational efficiencies.

Energy Management

To reduce climate impacts and increase operational efficiency, energy management is crucial. We strive to reduce our environmental footprint by combating energy waste, investing in energy efficiency measures, and continuously tracking our energy performance. Our efforts in this regard helped us reduce our energy intensity by approximately 4% from 2020 to 2021.

Falcon Cement Filtering Device

Our investee Falcon Cement Company (FCC), Bahrain’s largest cement producer, has spearheaded several initiatives to ensure the sustainability of its operations. This includes the voluntary doubling of the required annual stack emissions testing, redesigning their exhaust systems to have emissions below 30 milligrams of per nm3, and installing suction devices that reduce cement spillage by approximately 70%. FCC is also undertaking a feasibility study on installing of solar power to meet 25-50% of its energy needs. Following an assessment of its Occupational Health & Safety Management System, Falcon Cement received the ISO 45001:2018 certification for Manufacturing, Sales and Supply of Ordinary Portland and Sulphate Resistant Cement.

Balexco Water Re-Use System

By recycling operational waste and reducing chemical waste and air pollution, our investee Balexco, the GCC’s first aluminum extrusion company, works toward reducing any harmful waste and fumes that are toxic to the environment. Balexco continually evaluates its processes for ways to reduce and recycle waste, and complies with all environmental regulations mandated by the relevant authorities.

As we expand our Group's horizons into new markets and sectors and reinforce the growth of our core business lines, we aim to do so with a view to ensure the sustainability of our activities - not only in terms of returns for our investors and shareholders, but also of impact on the communities we are present in.

Social

GFH’s investment decision-making is in accordance with our ambition to transform the daily lives of the communities we belong to and are present in.

Community Investment

Our culture encourages support for charitable, educational and community service activities. We continue to provide a hand to numerous charitable organisations and social infrastructure providers as part of our responsibilities, ranging from educational sponsorships to medical equipment for hospitals and financial outreach to the disadvantaged. In 2021, our community investments totaled over 740,000 BHD. We aim to boost our community investments as a percentage of company revenue to 1%.

Diversity and Inclusion

GFH is committed to maintaining an equal opportunity workplace and ensuring diversity and representation across roles and responsibilities. In 2021, we achieved a 150% increase in the number of women hired compared to 2020. We also participate in a number of initiatives that raise awareness around gender parity and women empowerment.

Health and Well-Being

Community health has long been a cornerstone of our ESG initiatives, with earlier initiatives including the support of the Al Rahma Centre for Disabled Care which provides educational, rehabilitation and vocational programs for the disabled, and Alia for Early Intervention who offer evaluation, early intervention services and case management to eligible children and their families. More recently, we supported the Royal Charity Organization’s Al Fares project, which aims to provide insulin pumps to children with Type 1 Diabetes. We also partnered with the Bahrain Paralympic Committee for the Bahrain 2021 Asian Paralympic Games for Youth. We also launched our dedicated sporting platform “XLR8” in 2019, hosting a 10k marathon that raised BD 10,000 for the Royal Charity Organization.

Education

With education acting as a major driver of our investment strategy and ESG commitments, we are proud to be longtime supporters of the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program. The Program offers Bahrain’s most exceptional students an opportunity to further their education in the world’s leading educational institutions while providing them with ongoing training and career development support. We also partnered with the ‘Smile’ initiative, giving children with cancer in Bahrain electronic devices that can help them continue their education remotely.

GFH is a pioneer on the kinds of investments that make life better, like homes, education and healthcare. These basic building blocks create sustainable wealth for our investors and drive sustainable social development for the global communities we serve.

Governance

GFH has clear goals for the good governance of the business and is well on track to achieving our strategic goals. In 2021, we achieved 92.1% of our 2021 Internal Audit Plan versus our target of 85%.

Corporate Governance Framework

Our corporate governance framework remains in line with the applicable regulatory requirements and is comprised of our Board of Directors’ Charter, Code of Conduct for the Directors, Conflict of Interest Policy, Gift Policy, Whistle Blowing Policy, Public Disclosures & Communication Policy, and Code of Business Ethics & Conduct for management and staff members. Furthermore, the Mechanism of Performance Evaluation of Board of Directors, Board Committees and Individual Board Members, as well as the other internal policies of the Group, are in line with the regulations and guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Bahrain and international best practices.

Independency

Our Board of Directors is comprised of 10 members, out of which 6 are independent and 1 is non-executive. Furthermore, our Group’s control functions, such as Internal Audit, Risk, Compliance and AML, all have direct reporting lines to the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee to ensure that they carry out their responsibilities with full independency.

Transparency and Honesty

Our ambition to achieve the highest levels of transparency and accountability is bolstered by our robust corporate governance framework. To comply with regulatory and supervisory responsibilities, and to continuously improve, the Group implements and regularly updates strategies and policies, and undergoes routine quality assurance reviews performed by independent third parties. While supporting both local and international efforts to eliminate corruption and financial crime, we also ensure that data privacy and security remain one of our most crucial responsibilities towards our clients and society at large.

Conflict of Interest

Any conflict of interest that might arise from the Board members or Executive Management is governed by our Conflict of Interest Policy. Members of the Board or Executive Management team must disclose conflict of interest that might arise through the Conflict of Interest Reporting Form. Conflict of interest arising from any Board member must be ratified by the Board and that Board member will be precluded from voting on the matter. GFH also discloses all related details within its corporate governance report and annual report, including abstentions from voting or authorizations of conflict of interest contracts or transactions.

Our InvestmentApproach

Our investment impact goes beyond just balance sheets and financial reports. It transforms the daily lives of the communities we’re a part of.

By diversifying our portfolio of investments, we’re not just creating sustainable wealth for our investors, we’re bringing new homes, schools, hospitals, and infrastructure projects to the world around us.

Take, for example, our sustainable infrastructure platform – Infracorp, and our education platform – Britus Education.

BritusEducation

Harnessing the Ingenuity Within Every Child

Britus Education is our dedicated K-12 education investment platform that is committed to ensuring that academic excellence is accessible to students from all backgrounds by offering a premium education at an affordable range. With 11 schools across four countries in the MENA region, Britus Education continues to work towards growing its family of schools to support in meeting an increasing regional demand for high quality education.

Learn More

To learn more about our ESG initiatives and practices, read our ESG Overview below:

Infracorp

Progressing Together

Managing a portfolio of near $3 billion, Infracorp invests in assets that support sustainability, forming a key part of our commitment to a brighter future. As a premier investor and sustainability pioneer, Infracorp’s portfolio includes a diverse and synergistic set of projects that bring social, physical and energy infrastructure to the MENA region and global markets.

Learn More