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Green is in: Regulations influencing sustainable building development in Philippines

KELLY DOROTEO-UNSPLASH

IN THE PHILIPPINES, there are various financial regulations in place that encourage the development of green and sustainable buildings. These regulations incentivize businesses to adopt sustainable business practices and contribute to the country’s efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.

In the previous Congresses, lawmakers have proposed a measure that would update the country’s Building Code, and mandate the implementation of green building practices in all new buildings and major renovations.

Other government agencies and business organizations have also proposed and enacted green initiatives to assuage the impact of climate change.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has also implemented sustainable finance regulations that encourage financial institutions to support green initiatives. The BSP’s Sustainable Finance Framework requires banks and financial institutions to integrate environmental and social considerations in their lending, investing, and risk management activities. The framework incentivizes the issuance of green bonds and green loans, which fund projects that have positive environmental impact, such as renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure. This regulation promotes the development of green finance and encourages sustainable investments, which can contribute to the country’s sustainable economic growth.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued guidelines on the establishment of Green Bonds and Social Bonds, which promote sustainable and socially responsible investments. These guidelines require issuers to disclose the environmental and social benefits of the bond proceeds and report on the use of proceeds and impact achieved. This regulation encourages the issuance of green bonds and social bonds, which fund projects that have positive environmental and social impacts, such as clean energy, affordable housing, and healthcare. These bonds attract socially responsible investors and promote sustainable development.

The Department of Energy (DoE) also implements financial regulations that encourage the adoption of green and sustainable workspaces. The DoE provides financial incentives, such as tax exemptions, reduced fees, and subsidies, to businesses that use renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. This regulation promotes the development of renewable energy, reduces reliance on fossil fuels, and contributes to the country’s efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. These incentives make renewable energy more affordable and attractive for businesses, leading to cost savings and environmental benefits.

Moreover, the Philippine Stock Exchange has launched the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, which require listed companies to disclose their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. This initiative encourages companies to adopt sustainable business practices and provides investors with ESG-related information to make informed investment decisions. The guidelines also promote transparency, accountability, and good governance, which can contribute to the country’s sustainable development.

The implementation of these financial regulations is crucial in promoting the development of green and sustainable buildings. Developers and building owners must embrace sustainable design and create structures that are greener and more efficient. Not only can they take advantage of existing regulations, but also use these to attract tenants that have ESG targets to meet. Moreover, the adoption of green and sustainable workspaces can lead to cost savings to building tenants, job creation, improved reputation, and contribute to the country’s efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. Different government agencies are working hand in hand to influence greener construction, projects, and investments so that the Philippines can reap the advantages of an ecologically sound tomorrow.

Sustainability should be every Filipino’s responsibility.

Daniel Salapong is the associate director for Colliers Philippines.

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