Developer highlights sustainability efforts

Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) reduced controllable emissions from its commercial properties by 92,234 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (t-CO2e) in 2017. This as the company continues its drive towards carbon neutrality by 2022. The figure represents 37 percent of its “business-as-usual” emissions or the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions it would have released had it not undertaken carbon reduction and offset initiatives.

“To contribute to our carbon neutrality target, a number of ALI’s office buildings and malls have already shifted to renewable energy through power purchase agreements.  Commercial developments such as the U.P. AyalaLand Technohub, the Bonifacio One Technology Tower, and the Makati Stock Exchange building, and malls including BHS Central and Harbor Point, have all shifted to clean energy and account for a significant decrease in emissions for the year,” said ALI Sustainability Manager Anna Maria Gonzales.

Makati Stock Exchange building Makati Stock Exchange building

ALI has likewise dedicated 450 hectares of land as carbon forests which the company protects and enhances through assisted natural regeneration (ANR) and planting of native species.  Carbon forests store more carbon than they emit, enhancing the natural capital and biodiversity of the area and benefiting the surrounding communities.

The carbon forests are spread across five sites nationwide, either integrated into estate projects as amenities and wilderness areas or as stand-alone carbon sinks. These are located in Lio in Palawan, Sicogon in Iloilo, Alaminos in Laguna, Kan-Irag in Cebu and Talomo in Davao.  These forest sites’ stored carbon was measured and hold approximately 68,000 metric tons of CO2e.

Through ANR, a combination of practices that focus on protection, nurturing and enhancement planting of native species, these sites’ early second growth forests and initial succession areas are expected to hold more carbon in the next years.

The ANR method, promoted by Filipino forest restoration advocate Patrick Dugan and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, is now widely used in the ASEAN region.

In February 2017, ALI announced a progressive program in which commercial properties would be made carbon neutral by the year 2022.  The company has identified three strategies to achieve its goal, namely: to provide passively cooled spaces in its developments, shift to renewable or clean energy, and protect and nurture carbon forests.

For years, the developer has been producing sustainability reports that track, among other environment, social, governance (ESG) metrics, its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the various stages of its project development process.  The carbon neutrality program contributes to the country’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

ALI’s initiatives to create a more sustainable future have been recognized both locally and abroad.  Most notable is the company’s inclusion in the RobecoSam Sustainability Yearbook 2017 and 2018 as one of the world’s most sustainable companies.

Ayala Land is the Philippines’ largest developer of sustainable mixed-use estates, offering properties such as residential, retail, office, hotels, and leisure developments, that support local economic growth.

The company has a total of 25 sustainable estates and is present in 55 growth areas nationwide. It implements sustainability practices in all its developments, focusing on site resilience, pedestrian mobility and transit connectivity, contribution to local employment, and eco-efficiency.