Pru Life UK Champions Sustainability, Keeps Employees Informed on ESG Updates

Leading life insurer Pru Life UK, in collaboration with law firm Quisumbing Torres (a member firm of Baker McKenzie), hosted a specialised sustainability session for employees on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) trends in Asia.  

Pru Life UK spearheaded the specialized sustainability session conducted by Quisumbing Torres' Atty. Charles Veloso (4th from left, seated and Baker McKenzie’s Atty. Richard Allen (5th from left, seated). They were joined by Michael Macapagal, partner (7th from left standing) associates Reena Mitra-Ventanilla (6thfrom left, seated), and Kristina Navarro (1st from left, seated). Pru Life UK executives were led by Atty. Emeren Vallente, consultant for Government Relations (3rd from left, seated); Rina Velasquez, SVP & Chief Risk Officer (1st from right, seated); Maricel Estavillo, VP for Government Relations & Sustainability (2nd from left, seated), and representatives from the HR, Legal, Government Relations & Sustainability, Corporate Affairs, and Risk units.

Atty. Richard Allen, a local principal from Baker McKenzie's Dispute Resolution and International Arbitration Practice Groups, and Atty. Alain Charles Veloso, partner, head of Financial Institutions Industry Group, and assistant head of Quisumbing Torres' Corporate & Commercial/M&A Practice Group, led the discussion on ESG trends in the Philippines and challenges and opportunities businesses face in adopting sustainable practices.
Understanding ESG challenges and legal implications
The dynamic evolution of ESG practices in Asian countries has led to regulatory updates aimed at enhancing ESG reporting guidelines and standards.
The discussion outlined derivative actions, the need to assess risks and opportunities related to ESG, and growing expectations for corporate accountability in addressing ESG risks. This underscores the imperative for more transparent reporting that ensures accurate assessments of the financial impact of ESG factors.
Such regulatory response not only reflects a shift towards greater transparency but also underscores an evolving understanding of how ESG factors can impact long-term business resilience and stakeholder trust.
Atty. Allen emphasized regional collaboration, while also addressing the challenge of “colourwashing” claims, highlighting the need for companies to substantiate their ESG commitments genuinely, aligning actions with stated principles to build credibility and trust among investors, consumers, and regulatory bodies.
Fundamental duties that directors must embody in addressing the gap in ESG disclosure frameworks were discussed. Directors should be able to navigate the complex landscape of integrating ESG into corporate strategy for long-term value and resilience.

Key ESG trends in the Philippines
Atty. Charles Veloso shared that in the Philippines ESG trends reflect a dynamic shift towards a more comprehensive sustainability practice across sectors.:
Some of the key insights he shared: publicly listed companies are increasingly required to disclose ESG information; regulatory bodies are vigilant about preventing greenwashing; ESG factors will soon be integrated into financial reporting, recognizing their impact on financial performance and risk management; and ESG reporting may extend beyond listed companies to include highly-regulated entities.
He also reinforced the importance of strong corporate governance for effective sustainability implementation and monitoring.
Commitment to sustainability
Pru Life UK also partnered with Quisumbing Torres for independent studies aimed at improving Filipinos’ access to life and health protection.
In 2019, the company commissioned a pioneering whitepaper titled “Mobile Digital Health in the Philippines” examining the readiness of the country’s regulatory framework to support mHealth and proposing solutions for integrating mHealth into current healthcare reforms.
A paper on “Improving Access of Overseas Filipino Workers to Life Insurance,” was also commissioned in 2022. The paper talks about regulations on cross-border selling of insurance products and offering recommendations for better access to financial products and services for OFWs abroad.
Pru Life UK has Sustainability-focused health and wealth protection products for Filipino families contributing to increased access to financial solutions for historically underserved populations like women, elderly, and low-income families.
"Sustainability is a key priority for us at Pru Life UK. We are committed to providing simple and accessible health and financial protection, driving up financial education and literacy and embedding ESG into our business and value chain to help deliver economic growth and build real-world impact and long-term resilience. We also ensure that our teams are equipped with relevant ESG updates so we can apply them to the work that we do," shares Maricel E. Estavillo, Pru Life UK’s Vice President for Government Relations & Sustainability.

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