Upcycled container vans provide staff housing in GBP’s Iloilo plant

MAINTAINING sustainable operations is a commitment Global Business Power Corporation (GBP) purposefully adheres to in its plant facilities situated in Iloilo and Cebu. In addition to responsible disposal of waste, GBP also applies solid waste management and upcycling practices in accordance with R.A. 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act.

GBP’s upcycling approach has found a practical use for old container vans particularly in its plant site in Iloilo. When the Company’s subsidiary, Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC), embarked on an expansion project in 2017, the site was left with scraps, debris and other construction wastes like cargo containers, PVC pipes and metals after its completion. The Company thought of converting the steel containers into accommodation facilities for staff and visitors in its compound in La Paz, Iloilo City. Thus, the concept of the GBP ConVan housing was born.

From six units of 20-foot cargo containers, GBP built an integrated facility with 12 rooms that can accommodate up to 24 individuals. Each room has single to double-occupancy beds, full air-conditioning, and their own bathrooms. Old wooden pallets and plywood were also recycled to be used as wall accent of the facility, giving it a very homey feel.

The ConVan’s common amenities include a spacious hall with a high ceiling, a dining area, and a roof deck garden fit for social gatherings. The facility also has an atrium for meetings and a spot perfect for holding the Company’s Coaching Café. During the day, the entrance hall is easily filled with natural light. Meanwhile, chandeliers upcycled from old PVC pipes, used metals and chains beautifully light up the foyer at night.

Previously, the ConVan was primarily used to provide lodging for trainees and guests of the GBP institute for Energy (GIE) which is located at the same compound. However, GBP’s ConVan proved particularly useful during the sudden rise of COVID-19 when movement to and from the site became restrictive.  The complex was home to employees who had to stay-in to ensure the efficient and continuous operation of GBP’s power generation plants in Iloilo.

“Our ConVan Housing is an example of GBP’s commitment to sustainability and preservation of the environment,” said GBP President Jaime T. Azurin. “The ConVan Housing project is more than just a symbol of our advocacy. It actually shows that these recycling or upscaling efforts have real-world applications, especially in the business sector. Apart from saving landfill space and monetary resources, it served as a functional facility for our operations.”

While the ConVan had to be functional, the project team behind its construction also strived to make it look aesthetically pleasing. The Company made sure to collate ideas for the facility’s design so that it may become an establishment that the employees can be proud of.

As a member of the One MERALCO Group, GBP strives to pursue diverse sustainable endeavors in accordance with the group’s long-term sustainability agenda.