THE CENTRAL BANK has joined a global network of public and private institutions committed to incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues into investment decisions.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has signed the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which were developed in 2005 in a process convened by then-United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan, it said on Monday.

“By signing the PRI, investors commit to integrating ESG issues into their policies, consistent with their fiduciary responsibilities,” the BSP said in a statement. 

The PRI is a set of principles developed by investors in partnership with the UN. The principles prompt signatories to incorporate ESG into investment analysis and ownership practices, as well as seek appropriate disclosure of ESG issues by entities.

The principles also include the promotion of ESG and collaboration with other members in implementing them.

PRI Chief Executive Officer David Atkin said they welcome the BSP as a PRI signatory.

“As the central bank for the Republic of the Philippines, BSP has a broad mandate and responsibilities, and a unique opportunity to influence the responsible investment ecosystem in the market,” Mr. Atkin said. “BSP is to be commended for its commitment to incorporate ESG factors into its ownership and investment decisions, and we look forward to working with the team.”

The central bank said becoming a PRI signatory is part of the BSP’s 11-point Sustainable Central Banking (SCB) strategy and complements the BSP’s membership to the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System.

“The BSP recognizes that in fulfilling its mandates, it must take concrete actions in promoting the sustainability agenda. Joining the PRI aligns with the Bank’s mission and values,” the BSP said.

The initiative will also allow the BSP to understand responsible investing and enhance the inclusion of ESG factors in the investment process and decision making, which will help it achieve its sustainability objectives, it added.

The BSP launched its 11-point sustainability agenda last year as it seeks to mitigate climate risks by advocating green policies and practices. Under the SCB Strategy, the BSP will foster environmentally responsible and sustainable policies and work practices, as well as integrate ESG principles in its key functions and operations. — K.B. Ta-asan