Businesses that transition to sustainable operations can balance financial priorities with long-term strategies that are environmentally and socially sound.
This was the key takeaway during Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation’s (RCBC) 2nd forum on sustainability entitled “Advocating Sustainability as a Serious Business”, which was held recently at RCBC Plaza. The discussion was led by RCBC executives Gabby Tomas, RCBC Chief Risk Officer, and Beth Coronel, RCBC EVP and Head of Corporate Banking. Joining them in the panel were Glenda Anisco-Niño, Partner for FSO Assurance, Climate Change and Sustainability of SGV & Co., and Atty. Leonido Pulido, former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Energy.
RCBC, a flagship company of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC), underscored the earnest commitment of businesses, big and small, to achieve balance between financial profitability and responsible social and environmental practices in heeding the global call for sustainable business operations.
“In 2020, we were the first bank to declare that we will no longer fund coal-fired power plants. And over the last decade, we have funded 3GW of renewable energy projects,” said Eugene S. Acevedo, RCBC President and CEO. “There is so much more that we can do to cultivate a financing climate anchored on sustainability. We intend to continue down this road where no one gets left behind and everyone can grow in a sustainable and responsible way.”
Currently the 5th largest privately owned bank in the country, RCBC commits to continuously pursue sustainable practices through responsible lending. This is highlighted in the Bank’s Sustainability video and echoed in the presentation made by Armi Lamberte, RCBC Chief Sustainability Officer. RCBC’s Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) has been embedded in the lending process since 2011. The Bank started its own Sustainable Finance Framework in 2019. Under this Framework, RCBC has been able to refinance loans for projects with environmental and social benefits through the issuance of debt instruments such as Green Bonds, Sustainability Bonds, and Green Time Deposits.
RCBC’s Sustainable Finance Framework meets 12 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals by funding projects on renewable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings, clean transportation, pollution prevention and control, sustainable water management, access to essential services, employment generation, affordable housing, and socioeconomic advancement.