BPI, IFC ink P3.5-B risk sharing facility
Ted P. Torres (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and the International Finance Corp. (IFC) have renewed a risk-sharing facility worth up to P3.5 billion.

The facility will fall under the bank’s Sustainable Energy Finance (SEF) program, which provides loans and technical advice to clients investing in energy projects to help reduce energy costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

BPI president and chief executive officer Cezar P. Consing said the bank prioritizes creating sustainable shared value in the business, and its partnership with IFC would enable the bank to carry on this commitment for the environment, clients, and stakeholders.

Greenhouse gas emissions are the main contributors to climate change, blamed for severe weather events that cause massive loss of human lives and damage to property and livelihoods.

IFC provides risk sharing facilities and technical advice to partner banks wishing to lend to sustainable energy projects.

The new agreement allows IFC and BPI to share the risk for up to P3.5 billion of the bank’s portfolio in distributed energy projects, energy service companies (ESCO) projects, and green building construction.

Since 2009, BPI released a total P35.3 billion worth of loans with P24.7 billion outstanding as of October 2015, for energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate resilience projects.

These projects help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.9 million tons a year. This reduction in emissions is roughly equivalent to taking 362,000 cars off the road.

The SEF program enabled companies to invest in new technologies aimed at improving the efficiency of energy generation, distribution and use, thereby cutting costs.

Consing said the billions of pesos in energy-related loans is just part of the bank’s sustainable development initiatives.  The two other sustainable efforts are in financial wellness and financial inclusion.

“We continue to empower our people to innovate services, systems and products that address the nation’s biggest sustainable development challenges of poverty, food security, climate change, and ecosystem degradation,” Consing said.

But the sustainable efforts are also hinged on being profitable, and yet meeting the needs of the country.

Sustainable practices within the bank has increased an operational efficiency of 84 percent as electronic channels reduced the need for more physical branches and fuel consumption of armored vehicles.

Among the renewable energy projects supported by BPI are two wind power projects with 51-megawatts (MW) combined capacity, six mini-hydropower plants with 31.59-MW combined capacity, and 13 biomass projects.

BPI-supported energy efficiency projects so far include the construction of 55 energy-efficient buildings such as hotels, hospitals, and shopping malls. Climate resilience projects financed include 11 projects related to food security and a bulk water supply project.

ACIRC BANK BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS BILLION BPI CEZAR P ENERGY INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORP PROJECTS SUSTAINABLE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FINANCE
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