The concept of sustainable value underpins all of our sustainability activities. By taking action to address our impacts today, we help our business thrive in the future. The Bank innovates for operational efficiency, to empower our people and society, to use resources efficiently, and to continue to build stakeholder trust focused on three main areas:
• Financial wellness – We help individuals, communities, and businesses grow their funds and build their wealth by facilitating financial wellness opportunities, a range of innovative programs, and more accessible investment options.
• Financial inclusion – We continually strive to widen our reach by developing products and services that address the needs and preferences of clients coming from low-income and underserved segments. We adhere to the ideals that true prosperity can only be achieved when everyone is involved.
• Sustainable development investments – We promote investments in industries that strengthen urban and countryside development. Advocating and advancing shared value financing, we also stimulate business innovation through cleaner, low carbon, and resource efficient technologies.
BPI also recognizes its role as a responsible financial institution, both as a resource user and generator of waste. In our business operations, we reduce our negative impact to the environment through responsible environmental leadership across the organization, making us more cost-effective and helping improve our margins.
The Bank’s policy on environmental responsibility starts from within, by adopting policies, standards, and practices to make the workplace not just a conducive environment for work, but also a place that works better for the environment. We have put in place a system of tracking the environmental impact of our places of business. We also encourage our clients, suppliers, and partners to reduce their environmental footprint.
BPI’s energy consumption comes mainly from electricity requirements of our daily branch and office operations. Our monitoring is based on electricity billings received. Given increased economic activity in 2021 compared to 2020, primarily due to the lightened restrictions for economic activity and community movement, electricity consumption increased as expected.
For 2021, total electricity consumption added up to 128,815 gigajoules, an 8% increase versus the previous year. Energy intensity for the current year is at 1,323 gigajoules per Php 1 billion revenue.
The Facilities Services Group (FSG) handles all physical maintenance and construction-related works that support the Bank’s business activities. In line with the bank-wide strategy to shift from physical to digital, FSG’s initiatives focused less on building branches and more on reducing operating costs while maintaining the quality and integrity of our physical premises.
FSG supported preparations for the BPI and BPI Family Bank merger by ensuring the timely completion of retrofitting works for co-locating branches. By mid-year 2021, the conversion to LED lights was completed for 100% of branches nationwide. By year end, 51% of branch airconditioning units have been switched with invertertypes.
BPI also consumes fuel for generator sets during power interruptions and for armored vehicles for servicing our branches. In 2017, fuel consumed for generator sets was determined to be insignificant in the scale of our operations and so was deemed immaterial for reporting. In 2018, the Bank began outsourcing armored vehicle requirements from its previous leasing arrangement. This meant that fuel consumption was managed by the armored vehicle agency, which also served other clients, taking it out of BPI’s reporting scope.
The Bank’s water consumption comes from pantry sinks, washrooms, and maintenance faucets in branches and offices. As with our electricity, our water is sourced from water distribution companies and is monitored through utility billings.
Total water consumption in 2021 amounted to 326,035 cubic meters, a 29% increase from our 2020 consumption. This is primarily due to regularized operations and utility billings in 2021 compared to 2020.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
BPI’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are computed based on the Bank’s electricity consumption and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Grid Emission Factors. This falls under Scope 2 of the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, which refers to indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy. Scope 2 GHG emissions increased by 8% in 2021 to 25,652 tonnes CO2e, following the increase of total electricity consumption. GHG for the current year is at 263 tonnes CO2e for every Php 1 billion earned.
In May 2021, BPI signed up as an official supporter of the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), showing our commitment to responsible business practices, particularly those climate-related.
Moving forward on our plans to reduce our carbon footprint, we have begun exploring new efficient branch designs, green-building certification, and the use of renewable energy for our facilities.
The Centralized Operations Group (COG) continued its Electronic Statement of Account (eSOA) project in contribution to the Bank’s digitalization strategy. The initiative has helped improve customer experience with faster delivery of SOAs via email compared to physical delivery, and at the same time reducing costs for the Bank. In 2021, around 9 million BPI and BFB credit card accounts were enrolled to the eSOA program, saving 35.8 million pages of paper equivalent to 4,293 trees saved from being cut for paper.
All employees are also encouraged to use resources, including office supplies, responsibly. Despite the hybrid work arrangement which significantly reduced the number of employees reporting to the offices, the Bank was still able to collect 860 kilograms of recyclables in 2021.
Other sustainability initiatives of the Bank may be read here.