Experts push sustainable finance, manage climate change in PNB forum

Second sustainability forum slated on July 30

(July 8, 2021) — Close to 500 individual participants from 143 companies attended the kick-off event on sustainable finance hosted recently by Philippine National Bank (PSE: PNB) for its institutional clients and partners.

PNB President and CEO Wick Veloso said the bank gathered known sustainability experts from institutional customers and partners for them to share insights on how their companies are driving sustainability and making it work for business.

“In the ‘New Normal’, business is no longer about just making money, it’s about making people’s lives better for the future,” Veloso said. “PNB hosted this event so we can learn about best practices together with our clients.”

Aligned with the sustainable finance framework it submitted to its regulators last December 2020, PNB has been imbedding sustainability principles into its governance framework, risk management systems, and strategic objectives, consistent with the risk profile and complexity of its operations.

PNB’s sustainability policy and three-year transition plan set the tone and parameters in managing its environmental and social risks associated with supporting businesses, projects, or industry sectors.

Veloso added, “Taking care of our environment is our responsibility to ensure the future of our children and grandchildren.” The discussion centered on the benefits that companies could reap for the long term when sustainability goals are met.

The Lucio Tan-led bank gathered seven resource speakers from diverse industries who are all sustainability leads in their businesses. The speakers included: Maria Corazon Dizon from AC Energy Corp., Sheryll Verano from Arthaland Corp., Agnes De Jesus from First Gen Corp., Zdenek Jankovsky from Home Credit Philippines, Carmen Jimenez-Ong from Menarco Development Corp., Manuel Mirabueno Jr. from Star 8 Green Technology Corp., and Mark Anthony Marcelo from Toyota Motor Philippines.

According to Jimenez-Ong of Menarco, a company’s action can affect not just its business, but the entire world. She said, “As a responsible business leader, it’s a moral imperative for us to invest in the long-term because it’s good for the people, it’s good for our business and as such, we contribute to our economy and help build a more resilient country.”

Verano of Arthaland reaffirmed this by saying, “Sustainability is not always an easy path. It is a complex technical process that requires extremely careful planning, firm commitment, and a long-term view of things.”

Coming from the financing perspective, Jankovsky of Home Credit said sustainability includes financing the unbanked and under-banked sectors of society so they can adopt good financial habits while contributing to the economy. He also pointed out, “We need to keep providing good services to keep the trust of our customers and serve them in a sustainable and replicable way.”

De Jesus of First Gen stressed the need to help regenerate the planet so it will continue to provide the much-needed life support services “This path will require from all of us our creativity that includes the development of new business models, new technologies, and commercial solutions. A key ingredient in all of these is sustainable financing being initiated by progressive institutions like PNB.”

Meanwhile, Dizon of AC Energy added that their company would like to focus on renewable investments in light of their strong global growth prospects. “As we work towards widening our investor base, leveraging on the strong demand for green finance, we remain committed to scaling up our renewable energy investments in the Asia Pacific.”

Star 8, on the other hand, is dedicated to develop sustainable products such as solar lighting systems and electric vehicles including eco-friendly PUVs. “Our goal is to realize the universal aspiration for a cleaner world by lowering emissions, reducing air and noise pollution, and, most importantly, delivering a health dividend to humanity,” shared Mirabueno.

Toyota Motor as well is advocating the development of a sustainable solution that generates cleaner air, protects the environment, and provides economic benefits to stakeholders and customers. Marcelo said, “We would like to promote healthier living through cleaner, affordable, and better lifestyle options.”

PNB’s sector head for Institutional Banking, EVP Cenon “Jun” Audencial, Jr., said, “Our customers’ needs will be increasingly defined by sustainable growth. With this, sustainability footprint should also extend to PNB’s own financial solutions, as well as to financing or supporting the businesses and activities of our customers.” PNB will be guiding clients in enhancing corporate practices, with the aim of making positive contributions to the environment and the society.

PNB will hold a second virtual roundtable discussion on Green Finance for its clients on July 30, 2021. The discussion will focus on the benefits of the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) Certification and how companies can get green building certification for their facilities and projects. To learn more about PNB’s Corporate Sustainability, visit https://www.pnb.com.ph/index.php/pnb-corporate-sustainability.


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