Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) announced on Wednesday that its sustainable lending portfolio reached P52.17 billion last year.
Broken down, the bank’s sustainable lending portfolio consisted of P32.72 billion worth of eligible green projects and P19.432 billion worth of eligible social projects in 2020.
These involved 15 green projects and 9,947 social projects.
“As the economy gradually rises from the ruins of the pandemic, RCBC will be a strong partner in support of the BSP, not just in rebuilding, but in championing the ESG [Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance] agenda and sustainable practices,” RCBC President and CEO Eugene S. Acevedo said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier urged companies and governments to invest in sustainable projects especially as the world “builds back better” from the effects of the pandemic.
“Pursuing a green recovery in the aftermath of Covid-19 might sound daunting, but it’s actually a great opportunity to direct recovery spending into stimulating sustainable jobs and growth,” IMF Fiscal Affairs Director Vitor Gaspar and IMF Asia and Pacific Department Chang Yong Rhee said.
“In the longer-term, Asian economies would become more sustainable and resilient, and could build on their lead in many of the emerging green technologies.”
For RCBC’s green portfolio, renewable energy had the biggest share at 61 percent. Clean transportation and energy efficiency activities each accounted for 18 percent, while sustainable water management projects accounted for 3 percent.
Meanwhile, for its social portfolio, affordable housing projects comprised 36 percent of the total; employment generation, 32 percent; access to essential services, 24 percent; and socioeconomic advancement and empowerment, 8 percent.
RCBC issued sustainability bonds in 2019 to refinance a combination of green and social projects. The P8-billion sustainability bond is maturing in June 2021, while the $300-million sustainability bond will mature in September 2024.
Just last month, the bank also issued a P17.8-billion Asean sustainability bond to refinance green and social projects.