Standards

We consider four main standards in shaping and structuring our non-financial reporting:

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Currently, we consider the following SDGs as the most relevant to Maha:

GRI Standards

SGD Rationale Key figures (FY 21/22)
With our product, we aim to uplift rural communities' livelihood. We want them to make a dignified living from their work and are doing everything we can to support as many farmers as possible.
  • ● Our farmers profit 1.7 times more from selling crops than non-customers.

  • ● Our farmers could spend 40% more in FY22/23 compared to FY21/22

Agriculture is the backbone of the Myanmar economy. Fostering sustainable farming is critical to enhancing crop productivity and uplifting the livelihoods of thousands of farming communities nationwide. This is crucial to enable food security for all in Myanmar.
  • ● 58,000+ farmers trusted our products and services.

  • ● We trained more than 100 of our farmers in financial literacy and farming best practices.

  • ● 21% of our farmers saved money after spending and eating their produce.
As a responsible Group of companies, we aim to provide our staff with fair, inclusive and respectful working conditions.
● Women account for 56% of our workforce and 66% of our senior or top management.
● 120 hours of training were given, and all our staff were trained.
As a company, we work to sustain our business: it generates jobs directly for our staff and indirectly for the people working with our suppliers.
● We employ 240 staff, and 39 employees have been promoted since FY20/21
● We relocate staff to different departments and locations rather than letting them go. There were no dismissals in FY22/23

Our non-financial reporting is aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and will follow the GRI Sector Standard for Agriculture before 2024. The following GRI material topics are considered relevant to our non-financial reporting:

Our GRI Index is available here

Our performance in enabling farmers and rural communities

Despite many challenges we face, we serve our customers effectively, supporting our staff and performing as a sustainable business going forward. Our key performance figures for our farmers and rural communities in FY22/23 are indicated below.

DATA

All the data included on our website has been reviewed by MAHA management. All the quantitative data cover FY20/21 (from October 2020 to September 2021), FY21/22 (from October 2021 to March 2022) and FY22/23 (from April 2022 to March 2023).Unless otherwise stated.

The data disclosed has not been audited by a third party. 

MAHA welcomes your feedback and questions. You can contact our sustainability officer here

SDG 1, 2, 5 AND 8

Learn more about our approach to social performance and impact and get to know us better through our fifth impact report. We explore socio-economic outcomes and multi-dimensional well-being among our clients, supporting our staff and the evolution of our performance over the past year.

DOWNLOAD IMPACT REPORT
DOWNLOAD UNEP FI REPORT

Our Certificates

Maha was certified in August 2020 by the Smart Campaign for Client Protection Principles.

These principles structure our approach and how we engage with our customers; they are summarised in the table below.

Principles Our approach
Appropriate product design and delivery
• Our product development policy clarifies how our products’ design and delivery should meet clients’ needs.
• Regular feedback is gathered through the annual Client Satisfaction Survey. Our last survey was finalised in March 2023. We engaged 600 customers; the results are detailed in our Impact Report FY22/23.
• Our operations and processes are digitised and integrated fully in FY22/23.
• Staff are trained to assist our clients in choosing the best products while providing additional financial literacy training. Our 108 loan officers engaged with 58,059 people in FY 22/23.
• Maha developed a Social Welfare Fund Provision to support its clients when they have to deal with a significant event impacting their lives (death of a customer or family member, birth of a child, etc.)
• Last year, we did not record any grievances related to the quality of our products. .
Prevention of over-indebtedness
• Each loan taken by repeating clients undergoes a detailed repayment capacity analysis using our own credit scoring system.
• We use the data provided by the MCIX platform to analyse the credit score of each borrower.
• Maha provides its customers with insurance and saving products to help them manage and mitigate their risks. .
Responsible pricing
• Interest rates are capped at 28% per annum in accordance with the regulations issued by the FRD.
• Fees cannot exceed 2% per annum, including potential penalties.
• There is no additional fee for prepayment, late repayment, or balance inquiries.
• To support our most vulnerable clients, Maha put in place rescheduling of loans, writing of loans and interest waiver initiatives for farmers living in villages impacted by the consequences of the ongoing crises. .
Transparency
• We provide our clients with complete cost and non-cost information verbally and in writing.
• Clear loan information is shared through our branches' pamphlets, posters and videos.
• We also engage with rural communities to inform and develop their financial literacy, better agriculture practices, and environmental sustainability training for our clients. Our Environmental and Social Risk training is designed in alignment with the sustainability guidance developed by the Dutch Development Agency (FMO). .
Fair & respectful treatment of clients
• Our Code of Conduct, accessible on our website, provides all the necessary guidelines to our staff to help them act with integrity and respect when dealing with our clients.
• We did not record any breaches of our Code of Conduct last year. .
Privacy of client data
• Clients’ consent is obtained in each loan cycle before sharing their data with any third party.
• All files and data are digitally stored in a secure and password-protected system with segregated access rights. .
A ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

The village of Ping Taung is located in Tatkone township, a mere 60 kilometers from the capital city of Naypyidaw. This village of about 90 households consists of over 50 farming households mainly growing paddy and onion, all of whom we serve being the only microfinance institution operating in the village for the last two years.

READ THE STORY

An additional support to our clients besides our loans is necessary for a greater impact on their lives. Thus, we also provide non-financial services such as financial literacy and environmental sustainability training. The rural parts of Myanmar face tremendous hurdles with regard to accessing finance and are marred by a lack of financial literacy. We combat this, with an interactive pamphlet and an animated video that will effectively teach our current and potential clientele the fundamentals of money management. All clients receive this training at the time of disbursement. These measures further develop our triple-bottom-line approach and help us to become an environmentally responsible organization. We feel responsible to implement sustainability where and whenever we can. Therefore, we provide Environmental and Social Risk training based on the sustainability guidance developed by the Dutch Development Agency (FMO). In addition to this, we are a signatory to the Principles of Responsible Banking under the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP-Fi), working towards creating a more sustainable environment within our organizational practices. 
ic_green initiatives@2x

GREEN INITIATIVES

We are involved in a number of initiatives to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations. The first policy adopted was the Recycling Policy, in collaboration with Recyglo, a local recycling company. This policy addresses Goal 12 of the SDGs, which calls for responsible consumption and production. Since then, we have significantly reduced our internal usage of plastic and paper.

Another initiative that we undertook is reducing our carbon footprint which was an exciting and active endeavor in which our team planted over 1200 seeds of Mangrove over 1 acre of land. Once done, it will reduce 2000 tons of carbon within 20 years, equivalent to 100 tons per year. This is comparable to reducing an average car’s total carbon emissions over a span of 5 months. In addition to this, we have contributed to the planting of nearly 3000 Mangrove trees by local communities. 
mangrove
Single use plastic remains prevalent in Myanmar and poses a threat to marine life and the environment. We wanted to build awareness among our team members and found the perfect occasion at our year-end staff party which took place in the city of Dawei, Tanintharyi region of Myanmar. Among other team building activities we organized a green activity called the Maha Clean-Up initiative which involved collection of plastic and other trash along 200 meters of the Maungmagan beach with our team of 160 staff members. In the future, we will be focusing our efforts on waste reduction and management as part of our upcoming sustainability initiatives.
Beach cleaning (003)