Here's How You Can Grow Your Money While Helping Save the Environment

Be investment-savvy and environmentally conscious at the same time.

Environmental sustainability has continued to become one of the most important issues on Filipinos’ minds. A 2017 YouGov survey said that 63 percent of Filipinos think businesses should ensure that their supply chain does not harm the environment, while a 2018 Kantar survey cited climate change as the third biggest social issue Filipinos see on their social media channels.

On another note, always at the forefront of many Filipinos’ minds is how to make more money. From money challenges to investment vehicles, there’s no doubt that many Filipinos’ New Year’s resolutions involves being smarter with their finances.

Turns out, there’s a way to combine being environmentally conscious and being smart with your money.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) announced that it has published its green financing framework, which discussed how it will be issuing so-called “green bonds” and “green loans.” These financial instruments aren’t too different from the typical corporate bonds and loans already common in the market, but they are specifically issued to finance environmentally beneficial projects such as renewable energy plants, electric vehicles, and green buildings.

“We recognize that the environment and our carbon footprint have significant effects on the way we do business,” said Don Tamayo, head of distribution sales under the treasury group of RCBC. “So it’s just proper business sense to go green.”

IMAGE: Freepik

The projects RCBC will finance through these green bonds and loans will be evaluated according to international standards, such as the 2018 ASEAN Green Bond Standards, to assess how environmentally beneficial they are. This ensures that any money you put into these investment vehicles will be used to make the country greener and more environmentally friendly.

While green bonds have been offered in the Philippines before—the first green bonds were issued by Aboitiz Power back in 2016, and BDO Unibank and Chinabank have also offered green bonds since then—Tamayo said that RCBC will be the first to offer these bonds to the investing public. This means that for the first time, Filipinos will get the chance to purchase investment vehicles made to help the Philippines become more environmentally sustainable.

“We are the first one to be publicly distributed, meaning the public can directly participate in the offer and have a more active role in the green financing,” he added.

Tamayo did not reveal any more details about RCBC’s green investment offerings, but he did say that the bank is targeting to issue its first green bond offering sometime this year. Good news for all eco-friendly investors!

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Lorenzo Kyle Subido
Lorenzo Kyle Subido is a staff writer for Esquire Philippines.
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