BPI bolsters sustainable financing for businesses

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BPI Sustainable Development Finance
BPI has consolidated its financing activities with the Sustainable Finance Development program. Photo from BPI.

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has launched its expanded Sustainable Development Finance (SDF) program to bolster its commitment to enable sustainable businesses in the country.

With SDF, BPI has consolidated its financing activities for renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate resilience, and agriculture in response to the increasing need for creating sustainable businesses across all industries.

The SDF Program’s business model ensures that projects are not only meeting global standards for being green, but also achieving higher business efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

“We have to harness our resources to make it better for the next generation,” said BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing. “We owe it to them to finance clean energy, to ensure there are enough and sustained food and water supply, that we don’t leave a country that’s polluted and suffering from climate change hazards.”

Recently, BPI launched its Green Finance Framework which prioritizes financing of projects with significant impact to sustainable development. It has also pioneered the first Negative Yielding CHF-denominated ASEAN Green Bond, the first from Southeast Asia. BPI likewise issued the first USD-denominated ASEAN Green Bond.

LINK first USD-denominated ASEAN Green Bond

“As a bank responsible for one out of every eight pesos lent by banks in the country, what we choose to do, and equally important, what we choose not to do, can have profound effects on how our country develops. We are integrating sustainability into our business agenda, hence it is also right that we cascade the same consciousness and discipline to our clients,” Consing said.

John-C Syquia, BPI Head of Corporate Banking, said BPI is ready to expand its loan portfolio to include more green projects that will result in a double benefit: less carbon emissions and sustainable business profit.

“We have put together a formula whereby financing a green project is not considered charitable work or part of corporate social responsibility, but an investment with a strong business case for both financial and environmental impact, reflecting the bank’s commitment towards sustainability,” Syquia said.

BPI supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), just as parent company Ayala Corporation champions the SDGs. SDF is BPI’s concrete program that directly and deliberately addresses specific SDGs.

Syquia said SDF aims to increase both its loan portfolio and revenues by 20 percent in 2020, as the Bank likewise helps clients increase their bottom line while going green by lowering operating costs and boosting efficiency.

For a developing country like the Philippines, BPI believes that the agriculture sector is very important since sustainable agriculture will increase employment, help ensure food security, reduce poverty in the country, and ensure that practices and innovations will not harm the soil, water, and the overall ecosystem.

With sustainable agriculture projects, BPI SDF aims to assist farming businesses to maximize production and profit and promote sustainable urban and countryside development.

“Business innovation in agriculture is also encouraged through cleaner, low-carbon, and resource-efficient farming technologies. These projects include piggery and poultry, aquaculture, crop production, and post-harvest facilities. It is important that the projects adhere to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) framework of sustainability,” SDF Head Jo Ann Eala added.

Through the SDF Program, BPI helps companies identify opportunities for energy savings, renewable energy generation, climate change preparedness, and sustainable agriculture; choose appropriate technologies, vendors, suppliers, integrators, and consultants; calculate potential energy cost savings and potential income from system upgrades and new installations; evaluate project feasibility studies; and validate savings and production projections.

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