BDO reaffirms pledge for low-carbon regime


THE largest bank in the country expressed commitment to promote efforts towards sustainable finance to help achieve the private and public sectors’ goal of “cushioning the destructive effects of climate change.”

In a news statement issued on Wednesday, BDO Unibank Inc. said it recognizes the crucial role of the banking system in building a foundation for inclusive and sustainable economies.

“BDO recognizes its critical role in contributing to a lower carbon economy through its financial resources, extensive operations and network,” BDO Vice President for Sustainability Marla Garin-Alvarez said. “We are committed to promote environmentally-sound and climate-resilient practices to support our customers, communities, and the country.”

Garin-Alvarez said that over the years, BDO’s “sustainable finance” desk has expanded its scope to include energy efficiency, climate-smart agriculture, green infrastructure, and clean transportation.

In 2010, BDO was among the pioneers of promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency project financing by putting together a risk-based Sustainable Energy Finance Program in partnership with the International Finance Corp., the private banking arm of the World Bank.

In 2017, BDO was also the first to offer a green bond in the financial industry in the country and in the East Asia Pacific. This provided $150 million to seven renewable energy projects, which have since been expanded to 50 renewable projects nationwide.

“In the Philippines, the local banking industry can leverage its resources and reach to hasten the transition towards a more sustainable future,” the bank said. “As a financial intermediary, banks have the opportunity to drive financial investments towards renewable energy or climate adaptation technologies and to provide expertise towards achieving sustainable economic and business models.”

BDO’s statement on sustainable financing echoes the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) calls on local lenders to look into sustainable or so-called “green financing” as the country remains one of the most vulnerable for economies in the world to climate change related disruptions.

In June, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said mainstreaming sustainable finance in the country is crucial to protect the economy and the financial system from potential shocks related to climate change.

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