Sustainability is fundamental to a financial institution’s success. It means being mindful of environmental and social (E&S) well-being in contributing to the economic growth of the country.
Recognizing this, the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) has fully embraced sustainability in the Philippine banking industry, guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
RCBC’s dedication to sustainability has not gone unnoticed. The bank was recently honored at The Asset ESG Corporate Awards 2022 held in February 2023, where it bagged the Platinum Award for creating sustainable value for its investors and stakeholders. This is the Bank’s second ESG recognition, following last year’s Gold award, which is an affirmation of RCBC’s progressive stance in making sustainability a core part of its business strategy.
For the second consecutive year, the bank was also named as the “Best Bank for Sustainable Development” by the 2023 Global Banking & Finance Awards®. The bank was evaluated on various criteria, such as its sustainable development objectives, sustainable business practices, and sustainable offerings to clients like impact investing, ESG advisory, and sustainable financing solutions. Additionally, the award considered the bank’s dedication to energy management, reducing its environmental impact, and its stakeholder engagement in promoting sustainable development in the region.
RCBC’s environmental and social management system (ESMS) is at the core of the bank’s sustainable lending practices. The ESMS adheres to the eight Performance Standards of the International Finance Corp. (IFC) and has been in place since 2011. In April 2019, RCBC developed its own Sustainable Finance Framework, a further testament to its commitment to sustainability.
By implementing the ESMS monitoring mechanism to address potential E&S concerns, RCBC has effectively engaged its clients to take appropriate action, thereby fostering a shared commitment to sustainable practices. Since the implementation of its Sustainable Finance Framework, on the other hand, RCBC has issued $1.4-billion worth of sustainable financing instruments for its green and social assets and has also developed the country’s first Peso Green Time Deposit.
RCBC’s green and social assets contribute to the UN SDGs, namely – SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, SDG 13: Climate Action, and SDG 14: Life Below Water.
One of RCBC’s initiatives toward progressive social well-being is the Digital and Customer Centricity Culture Transformation (DC3T), which educates business units to adopt, embrace, and practice a digital mindset and customer-centricity. Its ongoing “digital and people transformation” initiatives aim to create a digital-savvy, innovative, and customer-focused organization.
RCBC’s recent recognition by the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) for its human resource management (HRM) performance and dedication to maintaining excellent industrial relations (IR) is also contributing to the UN SDG 8’s goal of promoting sustainable economic growth that is characterized by inclusive employment and decent work for all. By investing in HR programs and maintaining exceptional IR, RCBC is not only attending to the well-being of its employees but also promoting advancement in work and economic opportunities within the banking industry. This essentially complements the bank’s commitment to sustainable business practices in its lending and portfolio growth initiatives.