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Beyond Banking: CitySavings’ Pledge to Coastal Conservation and Green Growth

Coastal Clean-up
Coastal Clean-up - Pagadian City

City Savings Bank (CitySavings), the thrift arm of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), integrates a sustainability-driven approach in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives by spearheading a number of programs to close out the year. These include Coastal Clean-up drives as well as Mangrove and Tree Planting activities focused on the conservation of coastal and marine life and the fight against climate change.

Keeping the shores clean

Coastal Clean-up
CONSERVING COASTAL AND MARINE LIFE: CitySavings Bankers participate during the 2023 Coastal Clean-Up at (photo above) Lemery, Batangas to take care of its vibrant ecosystem and (header photo) Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur to preserve marine life at Dumanquillas Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape (DBPLS).

To reinforce its commitment to environmental protection, CitySavings participated in the International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC) hosted by American conservation group Ocean Conservancy held last year. CitySavings Bankers collected approximately 50 kg of debris from the coastal areas of Lemery, Batangas, and Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur. Lemery, known for its thriving fishing grounds and coastal resorts, underwent a vital cleanup drive to eliminate waste threatening its vibrant ecosystem. Simultaneously, in Pagadian City, the focus was on protecting the Dumanquillas Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape (DBPLS), essential for preserving endemic flagship species like the rabbit fish or Kitong.

The coastal clean-up initiatives brought together employees, volunteers, and local communities, fostering a collaborative spirit to eliminate waste and debris from critical coastal areas. Both programs represent a larger sustainability mindset that is pivotal in preserving the environment’s natural beauty and ensuring its long-term health.

Restoring our Forests and Mangroves

To further advance its contributions to sustainability, CitySavings has been implementing its home-grown tree-planting initiative, Project SustainabiliTree. The Bank rolled out two Project SustainabiliTree programs in Medellin, Cebu, and Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte at the end of 2023. Collaborating with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) and the 4th Marine Brigade, CitySavings facilitated the planting of 1,000 mangrove trees in Medellin, and 500 Narra and Agoo trees in Pasuquin. Project SustainabiliTree stands as a visionary plan aimed at battling deforestation, amplifying carbon sequestration, and nurturing green spaces within communities.

Tree Planting
ONE TREE AT A TIME: Volunteers from City Savings Bank along with the residents of the host community and stakeholders actively join the mangrove planting at (left) Medellin, Cebu to expand the nesting grounds of bird species, and (right) Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte to protect the watershed. The activities are part of the Bank’s tree-growing initiative, Project SustainabiliTree.

The mangroves planted in Medellin, Cebu, serve to expand nesting grounds for diverse bird species within the municipality, enriching its already thriving ecosystem. Similarly, the tree-growing initiative in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, plays a crucial role in reinstating the protective shield of the watershed in Vintar and Banban, Bangui. This effort effectively minimizes erosion, while concurrently boosting water yield for the neighboring communities.

City Savings Bank’s sustainability initiatives seamlessly align with multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Coastal Clean-Up efforts address SDG 14: Life Below Water, combating marine pollution, and promoting sustainable fisheries. Simultaneously, these initiatives support SDG 15: Life on Land, mitigating land-based pollution and preserving terrestrial ecosystems. Project SustainabiliTree contributes to SDG 13: Climate Action through carbon sequestration and local community resilience, while also aligning with SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities by enhancing green spaces in urban areas for more sustainable and vibrant cities.

About City Savings Bank:

City Savings Bank, Inc. (CitySavings) is the thrift bank subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and a member of the Aboitiz Group. It is one of the largest thrift banks in the country, providing a wide range of mass market financial products and services, such as salary loans to public and private school teachers, pension loans to GSIS and SSS pensioners, motorcycle loans, government salary loans, AFP salary loans, BFP salary loans, and traditional deposit products.

Today, CitySavings has more than 140 branches nationwide. It is well on its way to becoming the leading mass market bank in the Philippines, paving the way for inclusive and sustainable prosperity across the country.

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