Today is the second day of Manila Bulletin’s 1st Sustainability Forum. Yesterday, nine online talks were presented by companies that have exhibited efforts that went “beyond green.” They include SM Group where Hans Sy Jr. talked about their disaster preparedness and resilience efforts. Oliver Chan, SVP of Arthaland, highlighted the importance of sustainable residences, while Don-Don Ubaldo, SVP of Filinvest, laid out the eco-friendly features of Filinvest City. Kevin Tan, CEO of Alliance Global, shared how sustainable offices are beneficial not only for the planet but also for one’s wellbeing.
Included also in day one were talks from Geoff Andres, property president of City of Dreams Manila, who discussed how the hotel became a sustainable luxury resort; and Lixil Asia’s leader in communication and corporate responsibility Priyanka Tanwar who explained how Grohe products’ innovative features save on resources.
Rosemarie Ong, SVP and COO of Wilcon, discussed sustainable supply chains, while Viki Encarnacion, Watsons PR and sustainability director, showed that as consumers, we can make better choices for the planet. Unilever’s sustainability lead Rondell Torres and country lead for beauty and wellbeing Anna Mangilin revealed to the online audience the “Unilever Compass” — a sustainable business for people and planet.
Today, there will be nine more online talks that will be spearheaded by leaders from companies such as BPI, the International Container Terminal Services Inc. or ICTSI, Coca-Cola, Aboitiz Power, Toyota Motor Philippines, among others. Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco will open day two with a keynote address, laying out the Marcos administration’s blueprint for sustainable tourism.
All the mentioned companies and groups come from different industries, with different products and services, with different challenges and opportunities. But one thing ties them all — they understand the urgency of saving the planet. And they know, via the organizations they lead and work for, that they can start saving the planet by implementing sustainability efforts in their own backyard and amplifying it to “influence” their customers, communities, and stakeholders.
They are also all aware of the fact that they can’t do it alone. After all, saving the planet from further harm and destruction requires the cooperation of each and every individual. This is also the rationale behind the decision of the Manila Bulletin to organize and host this first-ever Sustainability Forum. Manila Bulletin aims to “fully inform” Filipinos (and the world via its online platforms) that there are companies who are passionate and proactive in saving the planet even if their objective of existence is to earn a profit. It is quite heartening to see sustainability efforts given primordial attention as how can there be profit without a planet?
Tonight, at the City of Dreams Manila, Manila Bulletin is honoring programs and initiatives from companies that have gone beyond green and made our planet much better. There are 15 honorees and among them include SM Prime Holdings for its ESG + R program, BPI for its sustainable development finance program, Coca-Cola for its Vision of a World Without Waste, among others. The pages of Manila Bulletin, in print and online, will feature their stories in the coming days to inspire you and your organizations to start creating your own sustainability story.
We have to remember that the effects of climate change are upon us and these will become worse if we continue to bastardize the planet and misuse its limited resources. There is still time. There is still hope. We only have to look (and listen) at these companies that have made their operations and services go beyond green. Their people have started making sustainability a culture and way of life — so can you.