By Patrick Villaloboz, Contributor
The Aboitiz Group reaffirms its sustainable operations commitment with focus on environmental management, social responsibility, and good governance while ensuring long-term business growth.
Striking a balance between the interests of the planet, people and its entity, the conglomerate has made significant investments to guarantee success that brings meaningful societal change, according to Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin M. Aboitiz.
“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,” he said.
Globally, the Group’s environmental, social and governance portfolios are fast becoming reliable benchmarks on its market position and ability to perform during tough times like the ensuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
True to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations Global Compact, wherein Aboitiz is a participant, it follows such initiative that urges participating firms to “set ambitious targets” and accelerate the integration of identified SDGs into their business operations.
The Group’s strategic business units have been implementing various initiatives to align with its overall sustainability goals.
Aboitiz Power Corp., for instance, seeks to grow its “Cleanergy” capacity in the next 10 years. Sixty-five percent of its new capacities will be sourced from renewables, resulting in an almost equal Cleanergy (50 percent) and thermal power (50 percent) mix by 2029.
Union Bank of the Philippines now undergoes digitization using its fintech, peopletech and digital platform innovations. This is evident from its paperless and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified ARK branches to blockchain and platforms that link rural banks and small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
Recently, the bank partnered with the Bureau of Treasury and Philippine Digital Asset Exchange in developing mobile app Bonds.PH that was launched timely to the announcement of the Progreso Bonds aimed at raising at least P30 billion for the government’s drives against Covid-19, overseas Filipino workers and SMEs. UnionBank is a joint issue manager for such retail treasury bond.
Pilmico Foods Corp.’s has done projects that mitigate its carbon footprint while improving efficiency of its facilities, including its two biogas plants in its swine farms with the capacity to generate 626 megawatt-hours of energy annually. This food unit also launched #M3Time, a campaign targeted towards backyard and large farmers, to raise awareness and consciousness on practicing biosecurity amid the current quarantine restrictions via online campaigns, webinars and e-consultations with Pilmico specialists.
Under Aboitiz InfraCapital, Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. will finish the construction of the P12.6 billion Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project that it is expected to provide Davaoeños with over 300 million liters per day of surface water from the Tamugan River. Since 2019, Apo Agua has been protecting the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed by adopting a 50-hectare site in the watershed through the Davao City Water District’s Adopt-A-Site Project.
Aboitiz Land, Inc.’s 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. More employment opportunities will be created with expansion plans to accommodate more locators and merchants in these commercial centers. The reat estate arm also takes pride in the thriving ecosystem of the Olive Ridley sea turtles at its Seafront Residences in Batangas.
For its part, Aboitiz Construction remains dedicated to environmental preservation in all its projects via the control and reduction of waste generation, waste elimination through resource recovery practices, as well as waste collection, segregation, and classification. It also ensures the use of scrap materials and reusable wastes.
Meanwhile, the Group maintains the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, a “pawikan” sanctuary wherein 10,735 visitors came and 4,811 hatchlings were released last year. Early this year, two pawikans were rescued and are now 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.