Businesses to expand green programs

Philippine business groups will prioritize the expansion of “green” economy interventions to ensure environment friendly operations and sustainable economic recovery from the raging health and economic crisis.

 “The interconnected challenges in public health, the economy, and the environment cannot be ignored. These have greatly disrupted global economic growth and punctuates the urgency to rebuild a more sustainable and resilient future,” said Prof. DindoManhit, President of Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute (ADRi) during their recently held virtual online forum on the theme “Moving Towards A Sustainable Future Through ESG” organized in partnership with environmental advocacy group Philippine Business for Environmental Stewardship (PBEST).

“We believe that the private sector, through ESG, plays a vital role in advancing the country’s sustainable development,” Manhit said.

 Metro Pacific Investments Corporation Chief Finance Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer Ms. June Cheryl Cabal-Revilla said, “We’ve put sustainability pillars across the businesses which include exceptional service, operational efficiency, environmental stewardship, human capital excellence, positive community impact, and governance and business ethics.  We’ve also put our focus on progress by enabling genuine progress and development.

Ms. Cabal-Revilla reported that the MPIC group has maintained its carbon footprint flat at 460 metric tons because of GabayKalikasan programs on reforestation, waste management, recycling, marine protection and community engagements.

Meralco Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Raymond Ravelo said, “In the next five years we look to ‘greenify’ our supply portfolio by securing 1,500 megawatts (MW) of clean energy contracts. Through our company MGreen, which is our platform for investments in the renewable energy space, we will build 1,500 MW also in renewable energy projects through 2027.”

 Top beverage company Coca-Cola Philippines represented by Country President Mr. Antonio del Rosario reported to have met 2020 commitment to replenish 100% of water used in production by consistently reducing water consumption.

“Our biggest project to date, which is building and pioneering a state-of-the-art end-to-end bottle recycling facility in Cavite, to be operational by the end of this year. We call it PETValue, a PHP 2.3 billion investment with Indorama Ventures, and we will collect and process PET through this plant, and the recycled PET can go back into producing new bottles, creating a circular economy. This also enriches the lives of the people in the value chain,” del Rosario said.

Under their World Without Waste global commitment, 100 percent of the company’s bottles will be collected, recovered, and recycled by 2030.

Giant food company Mondelēz International Country Manager for Corporate and Government Affairs Atty. Joseph Fabul for his part said that their Paranaque plant has been using 100 percent sustainable energy since 2019.

“We use a combination of geothermal, solar and other renewable energy to make our products and power our head office. We also have a biomass boiler which uses biodegradable sources of fuel, a rainwater treatment facility to lessen water waste, and this all contribute to the achievement of our sustainability goals,” Atty Fabul said.

“We aim to incubate, finance and build partnerships in the impact investment space through co-funded climate projects and a new social venture fund, alongside a modified corporate foundation focused on humanitarian aid. We aim to partner with like-minded investors, increase our impact on the world and support self-sustaining projects.” Fabul said.

In support, DENR Undersecretary for Finance, Information Systems and Climate Change Usec.Analiza Teh said, “If you want to really pursue or really achieve a sustainable future, the solution is the promotion of transformational change to restore the balance between natural systems and human systems, which the human activities have destroyed.”