(EnergyAsia, February 27, Wednesday) — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said it has agreed to help the Bank of the Philippine Islands build a sustainable energy financing loan portfolio.

IFC will help BPI expand its financial products, focusing on micro, small, and medium enterprises in manufacturing. The bank will also focus on energy efficiency in hospitals, schools, hotels and shopping malls, and the business process outsourcing industry.

Aurelio Montinola III, BPI President, said: “We look forward to partnering with IFC as it strengthens our leading role in the country’s financial community. IFC will provide us with the focused support and global experience we need to develop the market for sustainable energy financing. We are delighted to be a pioneering financial institution in supporting sustainable energy businesses.”

Jesse Ang, IFC acting country manager for the Philippines, said: “This project is a part of IFC’s global strategy of climate change mitigation, which is being integrated into our global, regional, and country operations. Through our advisory services, we aim to help BPI expand its portfolio to reach out to forward-thinking businesses that recognise the business case for renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

A leading universal bank in the Philippines, BPI is the first in the country to leverage IFC’s Sustainable Energy Finance Program to focus on small and medium enterprises and other key sectors.

The bank is also working on climate change mitigation. Last December7, it established a partnership with Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas (World Wildlife Fund Philippines) to establish the Climate Savers’ Program, which aims to reduce the bank’s carbon footprint over the next five years. The BPI Foundation is also engaged in a series of advocacy programs on environmental promotion.

A key part of IFC’s strategy in the Philippines is to strengthen the financial sector by supporting local capital market development, sustainable energy finance, access to finance for small and medium enterprises, housing finance, and firms in agriculture and services to improve their competitiveness.

IFC said its recently established Sustainable Energy Finance Program in the Philippines builds on experiences of similar programmes in China, Central Europe, and Russia. Through its work in sustainable energy markets, including energy efficiency and renewable energy, IFC has played a pioneering role in helping mobilise private sector investment in clean energy technologies and services in emerging markets.