The Climate Change Commission (CCC) welcomed the sustainability efforts of the Aboitiz Group and called for stronger collaboration across sectors, industries, and communities to safeguard the planet and its climate as the conglomerate presented its adaptation and mitigation practices in line with the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) during the celebration of the 14th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week, held from November 19 to 29.
“Let us unite on this noble cause to secure a resilient and sustainable future for all Filipinos. Bilang nagkakaisang mamamayan, tayo na at magtulungan upang ang klima ng kinabukasan ay ating mapangalagaan,” said CCC Vice Chairperson Emmanuel M. De Guzman.
“Our journey, though far from perfect, is one that definitely progresses through time, as we seek to contribute to sustainable solutions to our country’s biggest problems: poverty, hunger, climate change, waste, energy and water security, social inequality, and better education. Today, as we do every day, we recommit to that journey, as we continue to build climate resilience and sustainability for the future,” said Ginggay Hontiveros, Vice President for Reputation Management of Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.
The Aboitiz Power Corporation, which harnesses power from renewable (hydro, geothermal, and solar) and thermal (coal and oil) sources through 47 generation facilities across the Philippines, committed to expand and develop more renewable energy sources through their Cleanergy Program.
“Ako at ang mga kasama ko sa Aboitiz Group ay nagagalak sa pagkakataong ito na maibahagi ang aming mga kwento tungkol sa aming pagbugsay tungo sa kinabukasan. Nawa’y lahat ng sektor ng bayan ay magsanib upang sama-sama at tulung-tulong sa pagbugsay, mapalaki, mapalakas, at mapalawak natin ang ating aksyon at kabutihang-dulot,” said Suiee Suarez, Vice President for Reputation Management of Aboitiz Power Corporation.
Pilmico Foods Corporation, an integrated agribusiness and food company of the Aboitiz comprised of four divisions—Flour, Feeds, Farms, and Trading—also presented two sustainability innovations: The Pilmico Rice Husk Project and Pilmico Solar Panel Project.
“Those are the two examples of what we are able to do in Pilmico for our facilities, ensuring that there are other environmentally-friendly opportunities that will we can look into. We will be 100% committed to continuously innovating and looking forward to these new solutions,” said Joeben Gamatero II, Vice President for Brand, Marketing & Corporate Social Responsibility of Pilmico Foods Corporation.
Meanwhile, UnionBank of the Philippines emphasized the importance of building small acts towards collective action to help the business sector reduce its carbon footprint.
“Make the switch and try to be responsible, it’s really the small acts individually that matter. Together, when we put them in one collective action, malaki ang ating maco-contribute. It’s very important for us to have the right mindset, the right behavior to help the business sector in this battle to reduce our carbon footprint and climate change,” said Dave Jesus Devilles, UnionBank Vice President for Sustainability, CSR & Employee Relations.
Republic Cement, which operates six facilities nationwide, also presented its Ecoloop program, through which organizations in the public and private sectors are able to reuse or recover thermal and mineral properties of qualified waste materials, helping divert residual wastes away from landfills and waterways.
“Ecoloop is the best partner to help communities and companies manage waste. With Ecoloop and co-processing, we continue to uphold our commitment to a better future by building a greener and stronger republic,” said Angela Edralin-Valencia, Director for Ecoloop of Republic Cement Services Inc.
Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., which is focused on building better and integrated infrastructure facilities and services, highlighted how its water infrastructures help enhance the country’s capability to implement innovative and sustainable solutions to address the challenges in accessing clean and safe water.
“In the next ten years, we plan to put up additional one depot per year and two reservoirs to support the expansion of the estate. Additionally, we will look for more opportunities or more sustainable water resources and apply for accreditation of its drinking water analysis to expand our laboratory services,” said Anna Victoria Lu, First Vice President & Head for Water Business of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc.
Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. also touted its CSR projects, including Adopt-A-City/Municipality program for Tiwi, Albay and Iligan City; Buhisan Watershed Forest Reserve Rehabilitation Project; Boracay Wetland No. 4 Rehabilitation; Cleanergy Park; BEST Bus Project; as well as partnerships with government agencies for resilience.
“Protecting our communities from disaster is not charity, it is solidarity and commitment. We still have a long way to go, we’re not yet there. Success or failure is not an act of nature but it is in our hands, we must do more to deal with this global challenge. Together with our business units, we will use the power of the Aboitiz brand, the energy and passion of our team members, and the scale of our businesses to drive change for a better world,” said Maribeth Marasigan, President & Chief Operating Officer of Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
In 2019, the CCC and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. forged a partnership aiming to increase the adaptive capacity of local governments to climate change. Convergence with the private sector is one of the main goals of the Commission, to help mobilize industries in greening their operations and investment portfolio.
“Our goal is to emphasize the value of public-private partnerships in promoting awareness to climate change, and the actions needed to address it. This is yet another chapter of the story that needs to be told over and over again. As the policy body of the government that coordinates, monitors, and evaluates climate change initiatives, the CCC plays a critical role in the public sector side of the equation,” said DJ Sta. Ana, Senior Vice President & Chief External Affairs Officer of Aboitiz Equity Ventures.