BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) launched its sustainable funding framework that includes socially relevant projects aside from initiatives on the environment.

The bank said in a statement on Thursday that key components for the framework are the use of proceeds, evaluation and selection of eligible projects, management of proceeds and reporting.

The framework has an updated scope versus its green finance framework rolled out in June 2019.

“We continue to embed sustainability in the way we conduct our business. Now more than ever, we have to constantly think about the broader impact of every project that we finance — how it impacts the environment, how it contributes to society and how it aligns with our vision of a better Philippines,” BPI President and Chief Executive Officer Cezar P. Consing said.

The enhanced framework is aligned with the International Capital Market Association’s Green and Social Bond Principles, the Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles and the ASEAN Green, Social, and Sustainability Bond Standards.

The social structuring advisor for the updated framework is BPI Capital Corp. Meanwhile, Netherlands-based Sustainalytics, which rates the sustainability of firms, provided second-party opinion.

In November last year, BPI Head of Corporate Credit Roland Gerard R. Veloso, Jr. said they want to expand their sustainable loan portfolio by 20% in 2020.

Mr. Veloso said then that funding has always been available but there is a lack of projects eligible under the framework.

The Ayala-led lender sold $300 million worth of ASEAN green bonds in September 2019 as part of its medium-term note program. The funds raised were meant to be used for projects under the bank’s green finance framework.

In the first quarter, BPI’s net earnings fell by five percent to P6.39 billion as it set higher provisions for loan losses due to the current crisis.

On the other hand, its revenues climbed by 10.9% year-on-year to P25.26 billion.

BPI’s shares ended trading at P77 apiece on Thursday, gaining P5 or 6.94% from its previous close. — L.W.T. Noble