Aboitiz underscores long-term sustainability goals

THE Aboitiz Group reaffirms its commitment to operate its businesses with a sustainability mindset that upholds best practices in environmental management, social responsibility and good governance while ensuring long-term financial growth and business capability.

With the group’s involvement in critical sectors such as energy, banking, food, real estate, infrastructure and construction, Aboitiz's commitments to sustainability is at the core of its business operations.

“The Aboitiz Group believes in striking a balance between the interests of people, planet and profit. We have made proactive investments to ensure that our success in business continues to bring meaningful societal change. This requires us to be fully informed in our long-term decisions that are anchored on enhancing the capabilities of our people and being mindful of our impact on the planet,” said Sabin M. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Group president and chief executive officer.

Globally, companies’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) portfolios are fast becoming reliable benchmarks on their market position and ability to perform during challenging times.

The Group is also heeding the call of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in which Aboitiz is a participant on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Ambition, an accelerator initiative that urges participating companies to “set ambitious targets” and accelerate the integration of identified SDGs into their business operations.

Aboitiz Strategic Business Units (SBUs) have been implementing various initiatives to align with the Group’s overall sustainability goals.

Power subsidiary Aboitiz Power Corp. is looking to significantly increase its Cleanergy capacity in the next 10 years. This is in support of the government’s efforts to further promote renewable energy in the Philippines and AboitizPower’s contribution to the global RE targets.

Sixty-five percent of the new capacities of AboitizPower will be sourced from renewables, resulting in an almost 50:50 Cleanergy: thermal capacity mix by 2029. The company is committed to ensuring that the country’s energy system is reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable.

Banking and financial services unit Union Bank of the Philippines is currently at the forefront of digital transformation in the banking sector using its fintech, peopletech and digital platform innovations to lead in social sustainability. From paperless and Leed-certified ARK branches to blockchain and platforms that connect rural banks and small to medium enterprises, UnionBank is actively defining how a bank practices ESG as it adheres to the sustainable finance policy mandate of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Recently, UnionBank partnered with the Bureau of Treasury and Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) in developing Bonds.PH, a mobile app that empowers Filipinos to invest in risk-free treasury bonds. The app, the first in Asia, was launched in time with the announcement of the Progreso Bonds, the 24th retail treasury bond, which aims to raise at least P30 billion mainly to fund the government’s health initiatives against the coronavirus pandemic and help overseas Filipino workers and small businesses. UnionBank is also one of the joint issue managers.

Food subsidiary Pilmico Foods Corp.’s ultimate goal of feeding humanity recognizes the importance of food security in the country. Guided by the value of innovation, Pilmico has implemented projects that reduce its carbon footprint while improving its facilities’ efficiency. This includes two biogas facilities in its swine farms with the capacity to generate 626 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy output annually. The group also launched #M3Time, a campaign targeted towards backyard and large farmers, to raise awareness and consciousness on practicing biosecurity. The campaign started with house-to-house and farm visits, seminars and activations. Despite the current quarantine restrictions in various parts of the country, #M3Time continues to spread awareness through online campaigns, webinars and e-consultations with Pilmico specialists.

Under its infrastructure unit Aboitiz InfraCapital, Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc. is set to complete the construction of the P12.6-billion Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project, which will shift the dependence of Davao City’s main water supply from groundwater wells to the more sustainably sourced surface water of the Tamugan River. Once operational, it is expected to provide Davaoeños with over 300 million liters per day.

A key component of the project is its use of the “water-energy nexus” concept to power its water treatment plant—a first in Southeast Asia. Since 2019, Apo Agua has also been working together with its stakeholders to ensure the protection of the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed by adopting a 50-hectare site in the watershed through the Davao City Water District’s Adopt-A-Site Project.

By building integrated townships anchored on its industrial zones, the Group’s real estate subsidiary Aboitiz Land Inc. promotes sustainable economic growth, as well as decent work for the people in and around its estates. Lima Technology Center in Lipa-Malvar, Batangas and West Cebu Industrial Park and Mactan Economic Zone II collectively provide jobs to over 100,000 workers. With expansion plans in place, AboitizLand will be able to welcome more locators as well as more merchants in its commercial centers, thereby opening more job opportunities for its host communities.

The company also takes pride in the thriving ecosystem of the Olive Ridley sea turtles at its Seafront Residences in Batangas. The company pledged to preserve the sanctuary and is continuously implementing programs to help nurture and conserve the endangered marine species.

Aboitiz Construction for its part, remains committed to environmental preservation in all its projects through the control and reduction of waste generation, waste elimination through resource recovery practices, as well as waste collection, segregation and classification. Aboitiz Construction also ensures the use of scrap materials and reusable waste, contributing to sustainable construction operations.

Meanwhile, the Aboitiz Group also maintains the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, a “pawikan” sanctuary where in 2019, 10,735 visitors were welcomed and 4,811 hatchlings were released. For the early part of 2020, two pawikans have been rescued and are currently under observation due to health conditions. Three pawikans are ready for release pending the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ final schedule, while one will stay for further rehabilitation. (Sponsored Content)


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