The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) co-sponsored with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – Philippines a sustainable finance online forum last January 25, 2021.
BAP has consistently conducted and hosted sustainable finance fora over the past years as part of the advocacy of the 45-member association of the nation’s commercial banks to promote more sustainable finance in the banking sector. The forum invited five speakers who gave their insights into how to align sustainable finance strategies with globally-recognized benchmarks such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Dr. Allinette Adigue, head of the ASEAN Regional Hub on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Asia, discussed the need for corporate SGD reporting in the context of investor needs. The presentation offered tips and tricks for investor-relevant business reporting on the SGDs which would allow institutions to understand how their performance is being viewed by investors.
Afterward, Robert van Zwieten, Convergence Managing Director for Asia-Pacific, discussed the basics of blended finance wherein he described it as the use of catalytic capital from public or philanthropic resources to increase private sector investments in sustainable development.
Edgardo Luzano, AVP and Head of Programs Management at Land Bank of the Philippines, followed with a discussion on blended finance participation and incentives of his bank in the local environment. The presentation posed that blended finance will allow banks to lend to the riskier sectors while lowering the chance of loss in doing so.
Dr. Felipe Calderon, the Head of the Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), focused on valuation and financing of ecosystem-based adaptation. The ecosystem-based adaptation was described to have the ability to make use of ecosystems to adapt to climate change. One example given was investing in mangroves to reduce the dangers posed by typhoons and tsunamis.
The final speaker for the forum was Colin Legarde Hubo, Executive Director of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) Center for Social Responsibility. Hubo spoke about focusing on value, ensuring compliance with international reporting standards and developing a sustainable finance strategy and disclosure in reporting.
BAP and WWF have been working together to push for sustainable investing and financing. Several fora have been held and attended to discuss what it means for banks to push for sustainability and provide financial capital needed for green development projects to flourish. Through BAP’s partnership with WWF, it will offer guidance to individual banks that want to integrate ESG in their own business models.