BDO Unibank reaffirmed its commitment to provide financing support to projects that supply various environmental benefits and address climate change.
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During the 13th Philippine Forum organized by The Asset, a Hong Kong-based financial publication, the country's biggest lender has declared its continued commitment to provide long-term financing for well-structured projects involved in environmentally-sustainable undertakings.
BDO senior vice president Joseph RB Lledo, who was one of the panelists on the topic of green finance, said the $150-million BDO has raised following its issuance of green bonds late last year has already been fully utilized.
“The country's biggest lender is fully committed to green finance. The goal is that this will also address the issue on climate change,” he said before the attendees of the forum which carried the theme, “Build and Innovate.”
BDO’s $150-million green bond was the first of its kind issued by a Philippine commercial bank. The International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank, was the sole investor in the bond.
Lledo also expressed hope that following the success of BDO's green bond issue, green finance open to public investors would be offered soon.
“We hope to create a market for green financing, hopefully in the form of a public issuance,” he said.
The pioneering green bond provides an alternative source of long-term financing for climate-smart projects in the areas of renewable energy, green buildings, and energy-efficient equipment in the Philippines. The financing is expected to help save 93,000 tons of carbon emissions by 2022 and contribute to the country's target of reducing carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030.
The green bond issuance helped establish sustainable energy finance as a core part of BDO's sustainability strategy. The bank has expanded its climate-smart portfolio to over $500 million, which made it the country's market leader in climate financing.