Standard Chartered Bank organizes forum on women and sustainability

To celebrate International Women’s Month, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) recently hosted a webinar titled “Client Speaks: Insights that Inspire” aligning with this year’s IWD theme “Breaking Down Prejudice: Equality gender today for a sustainable future”. The session highlighted inspiring stories of women leaders who have succeeded in breaking down gender bias and their roles in promoting an inclusive and sustainable economy.

The webinar was a thought-provoking and inspiring discussion taking the perspective of women in actively promoting the role of gender in participation and leadership in addressing climate change and creating a more resilient and sustainable future.

The distinguished speakers are pioneers in the infrastructure and energy sectors who not only champion the empowerment of women, but are also committed to creating meaningful and lasting change and solutions. Panelists are Cosette Canilao, President and CEO of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., Lorelie Osial, President and CEO of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., National President of Shell Companies in the Philippines, and Liza Luv Montelibano, Director Finance and Chief Information Officer of Aboitiz Power Corp. The roundtable was moderated by Lynette Ortiz, President and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank.

Canilao, with his leadership experience in public-private partnerships (PPP) as a former head of the PPP Center, stressed that infrastructure development is important in shaping economic productivity and pointed out that PPP is a good way to support the government’s Build, Build, Build program. . She said the private sector plays a key role as it can provide support not only through financing, but also through sustainable innovations and the development of ancillary businesses. “Infrastructure projects have a huge multiplier effect during their various stages – development and planning, execution and operation. The societal returns from infrastructure development through a public-private partnership always outweigh the private sector gains. I hope the next administration will really devote time and energy to creating an enabling environment for the private sector to be involved again in infrastructure development,” Canilao said.

Osial, Pilipinas Shell’s first female CEO and global energy leader, spoke about transformational leadership in a rapidly changing environment. She highlighted Shell’s commitment to providing cleaner energy solutions, including integrating sustainable practices into their business operations. “Shell’s goal is to provide more and cleaner energy solutions and to continue to be a partner in nation building. We do this by adapting to the changing energy landscape, partnering with like-minded companies and working with our customers and different sectors to become a net-zero emissions company in tune with society.

Montelibano, on the other hand, served as a CFO in multinational companies at a very young age, and now heads Aboitiz Power Corporation, one of the largest electricity companies in the country. She spoke about Aboitiz Power’s efforts to develop an effective roadmap for climate action to foster sufficiency of renewable energy for the country that is affordable, climate-friendly and for a worthy cause. She said, “A key part of the energy transition is not just the influx of renewable energy (RE) projects, but more importantly, how to make RE a viable baseload replacement. Today, the role of thermal power generation is base load, and to sustainably decarbonize the electricity sector, we must have an efficient and cost-effective technology setup for renewables to replace the load of base. AboitizPower is very determined to find a solution. We have studied several configurations and recently partnered with IFC to commission a study on hybrid solar PV and energy storage, with the goal of finding a technically and commercially feasible solution tailored specifically to the Philippines.

Ortiz emphasizes the need to promote gender equality for sustainable development. “As women are more prone to the negative effects of climate change, women should also be part of the decision-making process towards real change,” she said. “Our speakers are all empowered and inspiring women leaders who continue to amaze us with their courage, tenacity and determination to drive positive change for a better, more resilient and sustainable future for the society and communities they serve. “

The webinar is one of 150and anniversary as the oldest international bank in the Philippines. The bank promotes sustainable finance to support economic growth, expanding renewable energy financing and investing in sustainable infrastructure where it is most needed. SCB is the leading arranger of ESG bonds in the country, having participated in around 60% of the volume of PHP-denominated ESG issues. The bank was commissioned earlier this year as a structural advisor to the Philippines’ Sustainable Finance Framework, which will help develop the sustainable finance market domestically to create resilient long-term growth.


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