May 24, 2023

Aboitiz Construction has joined forces with the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) as part of its ongoing environmental sustainability initiatives. The collaboration involves the adoption of a 1.6-hectare tree planting site in the Makiling-Banahaw Geothermal reservation area for a duration of three years.

Under the Energy Sector Carbon Sequestration Initiative by NAPOCOR, private companies are encouraged to actively participate in a climate change mitigation program by adopting and rehabilitating priority areas for restoration.

Aboitiz Construction has provided financial support to the Mt. Malaraya Environmental Protection Council, Inc. (MMEPCI), a people’s organization based in Southern Luzon, to spearhead reforestation activities in the designated area. This program aims to create livelihood opportunities for the community members associated with MMEPCI, who will be responsible for the maintenance and plantation duties at the site.

Throughout the three-year partnership, a total of 2,600 native trees will be planted and carefully monitored. To ensure the smooth implementation of the program and track progress, a Technical Working Group comprising representatives from Aboitiz Construction, NAPOCOR, and MMEPCI will oversee the activities based on the agreed reforestation plan.

Antonio Peñalver, Executive Director of Aboitiz Construction, emphasized the company’s commitment to enriching and protecting the environment, while also providing employment opportunities for Filipinos. He expressed the desire to foster environmental awareness among team members and encourage their active participation in future tree-planting activities.

Aboitiz Construction remains dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability. In the previous year, the company partnered with Envirotech Waste Recycling Inc. to enhance plastic waste management across all project sites nationwide.

Read more about it here: https://aboitiz.com/aboitiz-construction-adopts-1-6-hectares-of-napocors-tree-planting-site/


Aboitiz, GCNP co-advocate good governance in the Supply Chain

May 12, 2023

On Friday, May 12, the Aboitiz Group demonstrated its continued commitment to supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by participating in the “Business Round Table: Strengthening Good Governance in the Supply Chain.” Representing the Group in the panel discussion was Ginggay Hontiveros, Chief Sustainability and Reputation Officer of Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV). The roundtable event was organized by the Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP), the Basel Institute of Governance, and the Asia Institute of Management (AIM) Ramon V. Del Rosario Sr. Center for Social Responsibility.

During the gathering, the participants explored the crucial role of corporate governance and business integrity in the context of supply chain management, emphasizing their profound link to sustainability. The panel focused on the challenges faced by larger companies when entering new markets or establishing partnerships with new business entities. They also discussed effective ways for companies to create an enabling environment for MSMEs within their supply chains, while highlighting the support required by MSMEs to elevate their integrity standards and promote fair business practices.

The Aboitiz Group has been at the forefront of the GCNP Prosperity Pillar, an initiative dedicated to the recovery and resilience of MSMEs in the post-pandemic period. As part of its transformation into the Philippines’ first Techglomerate, Aboitiz has implemented an innovative growth strategy that provides valuable experiences and insights for enterprises of all sizes.

The panel discussion took place in a hybrid format at the Aboitiz Tech Space, which is AIM’s state-of-the-art smart caseroom and the largest audio-visual caseroom. The establishment of this advanced learning environment was made possible by the Aboitiz 100th Anniversary Commitment Fund dedicated to AIM. The space embodies the technology-driven and innovative spirit of the Aboitiz Group’s Great Transformation.

The event commenced with opening remarks from GCNP Chair Vickie Tan, Basel Institute on Governance Private Sector Head Vanessa Hans, and AIM Washington SyCip Graduate School of Finance Head Dr. Felipe O. Calderon.

Joining Hontiveros from the Aboitiz Group on the panel were Dr. Dynah A. Basuil, Executive Director of AIM Ramon V. Del Rosario Sr. Center for Corporate Responsibility; Melissa Vergel De Dios, Chief Sustainability Officer of PLDT-Smart; Sharon Jean Gulmatico, President of Morination Agricultural Productions; and Anna Lagon, CEO of Bayo. These speakers championed sustainability and embodied the principles of integrity, leading the way in creating an environment of good governance and accountability from top to bottom. Their influence extends beyond the business community, positively impacting the people they serve.

Read more about it here: https://aboitiz.com/aboitiz-gcnp-co-advocate-good-governance-in-the-supply-chain/


CitySavings turns donated plastic into school chairs

May 11, 2023

City Savings Bank (CitySavings), the thrift bank subsidiary of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), led by the Aboitiz Group, is taking steps to make its support for public schools more sustainable by transforming plastic waste into school chairs.

The recycling drive was initiated by CitySavings’ Branch Operations and Human Resources teams and successfully collected nearly 2,000 kilograms of waste plastic from branches and corporate offices across the country. The collected plastic was then handed over to Envirotech Waste Recycling Inc. to be upcycled into school chairs, with each chair being made from 30 kilograms of plastic waste.

Hannah Contreras, Head of Human Resources at CitySavings, expressed pride in the bank’s employees for their wholehearted support as sustainability stewards. The success of this initiative highlights the power of collaboration and partnership with stakeholders and communities to reduce the environmental impact and work towards a better and more sustainable future. Contreras described it as a demonstration of employee engagement and sustainability in action.

A total of 50 chairs were produced and donated to two beneficiaries: Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Central Elementary School in Davao City and Tunasan National High School in Muntinlupa City. The donation aligns with the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Matatag agenda, which aims to enhance basic education facilities and services.

During the turnover ceremony, Principal Dr. Ador Querubin expressed gratitude and explained that with the school’s increasing student population, the additional chairs would benefit not only the current students but also future generations. Principal Querubin emphasized how sustainable practices can create a more conducive and comfortable learning environment for the students.

In Davao City, Principal Riza Lobitos of Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Central Elementary School also expressed excitement and appreciation for the unique and sustainably produced chairs. The chairs will be placed in the school’s Reading Village and Reading Kiosk to encourage students to read more.

Both schools have committed to supporting the continuation of this initiative by collecting empty plastic bottles. CitySavings and its partner will then transform these bottles into chairs for the students.

As CitySavings integrates sustainability practices into its operations, the bank is dedicated to being environmentally conscious and supporting educators and learners. The initiative reflects CitySavings’ commitment to #BEESustainable.

Principal Lobitos concluded her thanksgiving message during the turnover ceremony, stating, “You know whom to approach when you need help. CitySavings is always ready to lend a hand.”

Read more about it here: https://aboitiz.com/citysavings-turns-donated-plastic-into-school-chairs/

asia pacific leaders call for inclusion resilence sustainability

Asia-Pacific business leaders call for forging a new path on inclusion, resilience, and sustainability

May 5, 2023

BANDER SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei Darussalam — This week, members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) called on APEC Trade Ministers to view the challenges facing the region, such as environmental risks, financial stress, and the cost-of-living crisis, as opportunities to reshape the region’s economy with a focus on inclusion, resilience, and sustainability. ABAC conveyed its views through separate letters to APEC trade ministers and transportation ministers, as well as statements on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

Dominic Ng, the 2023 Chair of ABAC, emphasized the private sector’s desire for governments in the region to learn from the pandemic experience and make trade more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable. ABAC has provided clear and concrete recommendations to governments, which, if implemented, will yield tangible outcomes. These recommendations are articulated in the letters and statements finalized during the meeting in Brunei.

Regarding ABAC’s statement on the WTO, Ng stated the need for a future-ready, effective, and enforceable global trading system that addresses core reforms in agriculture, fisheries subsidies, dispute settlement, as well as plurilateral negotiations on digital trade and the environment. ABAC’s separate statement on the FTAAP calls for well-designed and modern trade rules, building on existing agreements like CPTPP and RCEP, and generating concrete outcomes that promote equity, sustainability, and economic opportunities in the short term across the Asia-Pacific region.

ABAC’s agenda, focused on equity, sustainability, and opportunity, includes efforts to enhance the engagement of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the global economy. ABAC is developing a supply chain resilience toolkit and a self-assessment tool for MSMEs to strengthen their ability to navigate economic shifts. The council also advocates for a mechanism to support MSMEs in adapting to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing.

In the realm of digitalization, ABAC is pursuing a work plan aimed at fostering trust in the digital economy, addressing cybersecurity challenges, promoting digital upskilling of the workforce, enhancing digital health, and facilitating cross-border digital trade interoperability.

ABAC is actively addressing the intersection of trade and sustainability, including conducting a study to better understand the impact of carbon border adjustment mechanisms (CBAMs) on the region and exploring ways to leverage trade policy for improved access to goods and services that contribute to environmental solutions. CBAMs and large-scale subsidy programs for environmental goods have the potential to affect regional trade and hinder equitable transitions.

The ABAC II meeting commenced with the Brunei Business Conference, where ABAC and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) representatives convened with business and government representatives from Brunei. In his opening remarks, H.E. Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister at The Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, emphasized the importance of collaboration in navigating the world’s multiple crises. Yang Berhormat Dato highlighted the significance of remaining optimistic and persistent in promoting integration and advocating for sustainable, resilient, and inclusive growth.

Pak Arsjad Rasjid, ASEAN-BAC Chairman, also addressed the meeting, briefing ABAC on his council’s current work agenda and identifying potential areas of synergy between the two organizations in pursuit of sustainability, inclusion, and digital transformation. As this marked the first formal meeting between ABAC and ASEAN-BAC, ABAC members expressed their desire for further interaction in the future.

During their time in Brunei, ABAC members had the opportunity to visit businesses and organizations driving economic growth and innovation, including the CAE Brunei Multi-Purpose Training Centre

Read more about it here: https://aboitiz.com/asia-pacific-business-leaders-call-for-forging-a-new-path-on-inclusion-resilience-and-sustainability/


Aboitiz launches second Fresh Depot cold storage unit at Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal to help future-proof PH agriculture and empower farmers

May 4, 2023

Aboitiz Group’s Fresh Depot has recently launched its second pilot cold storage unit in the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal (NVAT), one of the largest trading centers in the Cagayan Valley region of the Philippines. The primary goal of Fresh Depot is to contribute to the country’s food sustainability by providing farmers with a physical and digital platform, starting with the provision of cold storage facilities.

This innovative pilot unit allows farmers and traders to store their surplus produce efficiently, ensuring its freshness until it reaches the market. By significantly reducing food wastage and improving the food supply chain in the Philippines, Fresh Depot aims to make a positive impact. Additionally, Fresh Depot plans to offer value-added services, including the establishment of a comprehensive database that the government can utilize to enhance agricultural initiatives.

Emilie Sydney-Smith, Aboitiz Equity Ventures Chief Transformation Officer, emphasized the potential of Fresh Depot to revolutionize Philippine agriculture. She stated, “Filipino farmers face numerous challenges, making it difficult to determine where to begin. When we realized that cold storage technology could prevent nearly half of their crops from spoiling between harvest and consumption, it became an obvious solution. Enabling farmers to receive payment for the majority of their production, rather than just half, will empower them to invest in other products, creating a positive cycle of prosperity. Additionally, by digitally tracking cold storage usage, we can help the government understand how they can better support farmers.”

The launch event was attended by various notable figures, including Hon. Carlos M. Padilla, the Governor of the Province of Nueva Vizcaya; Carol Albay, representative from the Department of Agriculture Region 2; Dr. Marieta B. Salviejo, DTI Region 2 Provincial Representative; Coun. Dr. Arnel Magdirila from the Bambang Mayor’s office; Valdez Duntugan, representative from the Municipality of Kayapa; James Estong, NVAT Chairman; Gilbert Cumila, NVAT General Manager; Emilie Sydney-Smith, Aboitiz Group Chief Transformation Officer; Joseph Yu, President and CEO of SN Aboitiz Power; Munmun Nath, Union Digital Chief Marketing Officer; and Arvind Kumar TJ, Fresh Depot Agri-FinTech Consultant.

NVAT serves as a significant vegetable trading hub for farmers, traders, and buyers from various parts of Luzon. Established in December 2001 and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the majority shares of NVAT were held by the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya from 2005 to 2013. However, by 2015, the private sector became the majority shareholder, with 85.29% of the shares, while the government retained the remaining 14.71%.

Gilbert Cumila, General Manager of NVAT, expressed his pride in participating in Fresh Depot’s groundbreaking pilot project. He mentioned, “We are delighted to collaborate with Aboitiz on Fresh Depot’s pilot program. As a part of NVAT and a farmer myself, I see tremendous potential in providing this facility to farmers and traders, enabling them to preserve the quality of their fresh produce before it reaches the consumer market. This will also facilitate the digitization of farm data. We are equally committed to ensuring the success of this project and preparing the country’s agricultural sector for the future.”

For its pilot project, Fresh Depot has partnered with two leading international agri-tech players: Ecozen Solutions Pvt. Ltd., backed by Nuveen global impact fund USA and EXIM Bank of the Government of India, and Cropin Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd., which has received support from Impact Assets Singapore as one of its investors. Furthermore, Fresh Depot was selected as one of five global initiatives by the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE) to receive free support in testing and deploying its Coldtivate app, as well as benefiting from its extensive global network. The project’s ultimate aim is to address global supply chain issues, rising inflation, and weather events by maximizing harvests and optimizing the food supply.

Read more about it here: https://aboitiz.com/aboitiz-launches-second-fresh-depot-cold-storage-unit-at-nueva-vizcaya-agricultural-terminal-to-help-future-proof-ph-agriculture-and-empower-farmers/

Aboitiz InfraCapital Estate Water achieves success in reducing water losses across all economic estates

Aboitiz InfraCapital Estate Water achieves success in reducing water losses across all economic estates

April 25, 2023

Aboitiz InfraCapital’s (AIC) Estate Water has achieved remarkable success in reducing non-revenue water (NRW) across all its economic estates nationwide. These estates include the sprawling 800-hectare LIMA Estate in Batangas, as well as the vibrant 63-hectare Mactan Economic Zone II (MEZ2) Estate and the expansive 540-hectare West Cebu Estate (WCE) in Cebu.

Committed to delivering excellent water services, Estate Water has implemented a comprehensive NRW management program to address water losses in its service areas. Over the past 5 years, LIMA Water has consistently maintained NRW levels below 5% at LIMA Estate. Last year, the program was expanded to cover other areas, such as MEZ2 and WCE, resulting in a significant reduction in NRW. Specifically, MEZ2 witnessed a decrease from 13% to 6%, while WCE’s water losses were reduced from 10% to 7%. These figures are well below the World Bank’s NRW benchmark rate of 25%, demonstrating Estate Water’s strong commitment to sustainable water usage.

Non-revenue water refers to water that is produced but does not reach the intended consumers due to factors like pipe leaks, illegal connections, and pilferage. These factors contribute to water wastage and adversely impact the efficiency and sustainability of water supply systems.

“We prioritize the management of non-revenue water in all our economic estates to meet the needs of our growing number of locators and customers while ensuring the sustainable use of water sources,” explained Anna Victoria Lu, AIC’s Head of Water Business.

The successful reduction of water losses in AIC’s economic estates involved several strategies, including network sectorization, regular leak detection and repair, pipe replacement, meter inspection and calibration, and timely incident resolution.

Lu also highlighted the integration of SMART Water Network Technology, which played a significant role in lowering NRW at LIMA Estate. This cutting-edge innovation has interconnected and transformed all water facilities in LIMA Estate into intelligent systems. With this technology, Estate Water can monitor water pressure, flow, and quality in real-time, detect leaks, and promptly respond to water-related concerns. The implementation of this technology is also planned for AIC’s other economic estates, MEZ2 and WCE, to further enhance their water efficiency.

Recently, Estate Water’s efforts in managing water losses and promoting responsible resource management at WCE earned them one of the three “Water-Wise Awards” presented by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the leading government agency for the water sector in the Philippines. This recognition was conferred during the World Water Day Awards in March 2023. At the same event, AIC acknowledged the exceptional dedication of the San Pablo City Water District by presenting them with the prestigious “Agos ng Kinabukasan” (Flow of the Future) Award for their commitment to protecting and preserving water sources and the environment.

Aboitiz InfraCapital remains steadfast in its commitment to developing infrastructure and introducing world-class technologies to ensure the availability of smart and sustainable water for present and future generations.

Read more about it here: https://aboitiz.com/aboitiz-infracapital-estate-water-achieves-success-in-reducing-water-losses-across-all-economic-estates/

Water Stewardship: Business' Role for Water Security

Water Stewardship: Business’ Role for Water Security

March 6, 2023

Water is a precious yet finite resource that is vital to our way of life. Beyond consumption, we need clean and safe water for a range of processes and systems that keep us alive and sustain our way of life. Unfortunately, water is fast becoming a scant resource, especially in poor nations. It is for that reason that we believe that not only people but also the organizations they belong to, should make a commitment toward water stewardship.

What is Water Stewardship?

By definition, to be a steward is to take care of something important to you or to others, protecting it for future generations to enjoy. It’s about placing enough value in something so as to want to preserve it so that others, too, can appreciate it.

In nature conservation, stewardship can be defined as the responsible handling of resources. Value is placed in the act of conserving natural resources, with the knowledge that taking care of these resources will be beneficial for all.

Water stewardship, then, starts with the realization of just how important clean water is, and continues through global water conservation and implementing universal practices for supplying clean water to those who need it.

The Water Crisis

Water Stewardship: Business' Role for Water Security Water Stewardship: Business' Role for Water Security The Water Crisis

Water is arguably the most important resource in the world. Despite that, 771 million people worldwide lack access to safe water and an estimated 2 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.

This is the concept of water scarcity or water stress, the condition wherein the demand for water in a specific area greatly outweighs its available supply. In large part, this can be attributed not only to poor water conservation but also to poor management of the essential resource.

As individuals, everyone is tasked to do their part, and no one should underestimate the impact of hundreds, thousands, or millions of individuals working to conserve and manage water. But the truth remains that as organizations, groups, and businesses, there is more that can be accomplished, in less time.

Water Stewardship for Businesses

Businesses in particular are now implementing water stewardship in their operations and practices after recognizing the need for more organized and impactful efforts. Companies, corporations, and conglomerates are dedicating departments and processes to environmental conservation, and putting water stewardship practices at the top of their lists.

This has been beneficial not just for the environment but for the businesses themselves, improving their operations and establishing them as organizations who care for the future generation.

What Businesses Can Do

Businesses in every industry are key players in making either positive or negative impacts on the environment. This is because nearly every business utilizes water to a degree that is unheard of for a simple consumer. In simpler words, businesses consume much more than any household ever could, so their impact is much greater than that of the average person.

On the other hand, fortunately, any change they make for environmental stewardship works the same way, creating effects like ripples that eventually disrupt the whole pond.

But where to start, and how to go about it? Various organizations—for example, the World Wildlife Foundation or WWF—offer frameworks that outline how water stewardship begins and spreads in a company or business.

For us, we believe in raising awareness first and foremost among the general public and among our teams, then working from the inside outward by implementing stewardship practices in individual companies before continuing toward industry-level change.

Water Stewardship at Aboitiz

Water Stewardship at Aboitiz

Aboitiz Group’s infrastructure arm Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) advocates for better water resource management via corporations like Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. (Apo Agua) and LIMA Water Corporation (LWC). In addition to hosting seminars and promoting awareness about environmental stewardship, we play a bigger and more direct role in routing clean and safe water to the people who need it most.

One such project of Apo Agua is the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project (DCBWSP) which pioneers the use of the water-energy nexus concept in the Philippines. This unique concept has water pass through a run-of-river hydroelectric power plant, producing enough renewable energy to supply the demand of the next water treatment plant, which in turn produces safe water for over 1 million Davaoeños.

On the other hand, LIMA Water Corporation (LWC) is spearheading a Smart Water Network, which digitizes LIMA Estate’s water facilities into interconnected and intelligent systems. This program allows LWC’s water system and wastewater treatment services facilities to communicate and automatically adjust operations depending on requirements.

Key Takeaway

Aboitiz’ move for water stewardship is in line with the United Nations’ 6th Sustainable Development Goal, which focuses on providing and sustaining safe water and sanitation for all.

At Aboitiz, we believe these goals set by the UN are more than just guidelines; they need to become ways of life in order for us to save our planet and ensure livable conditions for generations to come. We are proud to be part of the world’s endeavor to save the environment, and we look forward to the day when the future generation can reap the benefits of our efforts for sustainability in the Philippines.

What is Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI)?

What is Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI)?

March 5, 2023

What are ways to improve Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in the Philippines?

  1. Discover individual and collective perspectives
  2. Put a focus on equity
  3. Celebrate diversity
  4. Lead inclusively

Diversity is the presence of differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, and socioeconomic class. Equity concerns whether practices are impartial, and provide equal outcomes for everyone involved. Inclusion is the sense of belonging within a group. 

Altogether, these elements create a concept: DEI. This is an ethos that recognizes the value of diverse perspectives in an organization, and how inclusivity and equity promote employee well-being. 

To bring those values to life, companies in the Philippines must put diversity, equity, and inclusion at the heart of their organizational initiatives. 

What Does DEI Mean in the Workplace?

What Does DEI Mean in the Workplace?

We all want to feel like we belong. Naturally, this is something we seek even at work. Not only do we wish to feel included, but we also want all the members of our teams and organizations to feel the same way.

This is what DEI in the workplace means. When we promote this ethos in the workplace, we set up programs, policies, and strategies to create and sustain a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. We also ensure that the people around us respect and accommodate others’ unique perspectives and needs.

At Aboitiz, we intuitively know that this is conducive to employee well-being, and can help us attract and retain the most diverse and talented employees. More than that, however, we know it is the right way to do business. 

Four Powerful Ways to Improve Workplace DEI

Four Powerful Ways to Improve Workplace DEI

So how do we build DEI in the workplace? Building this concept is deceptively difficult, but organizations can overcome these challenges by implementing systemic change, adopting inclusive behaviors, and most importantly, listening to their people. 

Here are a few ways we have learned to navigate this concept, and identify concrete actions that helped Aboitiz Group foster better and more widespread diversity, equity, and inclusion: 

Discover individual and collective perspectives

The first step is to discover the opportunities within your organization, not try to replicate initiatives that seemed effective for other businesses. After all, each working environment is wholly unique, so DEI strategies can’t work as a one-size-fits-all solution. 

To gain awareness of the intricacies and issues that affect individuals, teams, and your organization as a whole, you need to speak with your people — and really listen to their concerns. 

This means allowing them to articulate their individual and collective perspective. From here, consider how their identity, culture, and experiences with power and privilege might affect their perspective. You can start putting together the bigger picture from this, and identify the most relevant opportunities for change within your organization.

At Aboitiz Group, we consistently reach out to our A-people to find new ways to improve how we engage with them and provide the environment they need to feel included and fulfilled in their work with us. 

Put a focus on equity

When discussing DEI initiatives, you have to consider placing equity before diversity and inclusion. There’s a good reason for this. 

Our belief is that without equity, any effort made to promote diversity and inclusivity for our A-people is commendable — but ultimately not sustainable. This is because at the core of equity is providing everyone with fair but contextually appropriate opportunities. This is key to helping our people attain their full potential.

Rather than assume that every one of our A-people has the same experiences, we look for ways to help them advance through their careers and level the playing field, so to speak. 

Part of this is our Aboitiz Mentorship program — a dynamic, two-way mentorship that encourages them to learn and help one another through their career journeys. We believe that this mentorship program helps bridge gaps, and nurtures a pipeline of future leaders within our company.

Another effort under this strategy is the Aboitiz Academy, which is a learning and training resources hub that showcases various modules and courses, geared to helping our people learn more about skills and topics they are interested in. 

One of our past launches was a CSR module, which we used to enrich the knowledge, skills, and mindset of our CSR professionals. Through the Aboitiz Academy, they were able to better deliver their initiatives, attain holistic growth, and ultimately reach greater heights professionally.

Celebrate diversity

Rather than shy away from the intrinsic differences that each new hire brings to the Aboitiz Group, we choose to celebrate them. This is key to creating the most value from the collective differences in beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, and behaviors that our A-people bring to the table. 

This involves recognizing and engaging said differences and exploring the impact of this diversity on perspectives and approaches to work. From here, we can identify ways to optimize the contribution of all.

One of our most recent efforts to champion diversity in our workplace is through changing our working schedules and shifting to a more flexible work policy: Spreadquarters. By removing traditional constraints on work, we were able to take into account the individual needs of our team members. 

Despite many of them working remotely and using flexi-time, we saw this change brought about better work-life balance, lower levels of absence, and lower levels of stress! 

This change was a product of the REMIX program, which encourages employee-led initiatives and open discussions about diversity. Under the same program, we have adapted our DEI approach in recent years and established tailored-to-the-employee benefits, and the inclusion of LGBTQ+ and common-law partners for our medical benefits, among others.

Lead inclusively

Leading inclusively means we have to make intentional and ongoing efforts to make sure everyone feels like they belong in our organization. We believe that this encourages our teams to fully participate and bring their uniqueness to the work that we do.

This is why we always revisit how we engage with and manage our people. We know that, by looking at what new tools, resources, and support we need each year, we can better improve our ability to build compassionate relationships, foster camaraderie, manage conflict, and bring out the best in our A-people. 

Year by year, we look at how we create sustainable and meaningful value for our team members, who we have always considered the backbone of our continued success as an organization. And, we report our efforts transparently: click here to see what we’re currently doing!

Key Takeaway

When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the Philippine workplace, we here at Aboitiz Group embody them. DEI, as you can see, is a priceless asset and enables our talent to thrive, contribute, progress, and achieve their best self within our organization. 

Each year, we look for new ways to promote this concept in our companies, as we believe it ensures the well-being of our team members, and keeps us united as One Aboitiz — see more of our efforts for sustainability in the Philippines here.

Climate Change Scenarios and What It Means For Businesses

Climate Change Scenarios and What It Means For Businesses

March 4, 2023

Do we truly understand the state of climate change and its possible impact on our homes? We know that a hotter planet can hurt both communities and businesses, but with a projected rise of temperatures of up to two degrees Celsius looming over us, we need to know who will suffer — and what to do about it. 

After all, what gets measured can be managed. Knowing what climate change means for businesses in the Philippines means we know what we can do to curb damage to our country, and how to best adapt to this new landscape. 

So, what is the current state of the climate crisis, and how can businesses in the Philippines best prepare for a greener future?

The Climate Crisis

The Climate Crisis

A recent report into the future global climate looks bleak. We are looking at a projected 1.5°C and 2°C increase in temperature worldwide — and while these numbers seem small, they make a much larger impact than you think.

To give you a better idea of what this means, let’s look at what might happen to water availability if a 2°C increase takes place. In places like North and South Africa, Australia, and Southern Europe, more than 61 million people will experience severe drought and other types of water shortages. 

At 2°C, Several parts of Asia will be prone to flood risks, as well as extreme heat waves — with central and southern regions experiencing the worst of it. In fact, research shows that this could affect up to 37% of the world’s population

Why These Projections Matter

These temperature increases, though they seem negligible, do matter. That said, they are inevitable — the concern here is how to keep it at a manageable number. 

So what these reports are showing us is the worst-case scenario, if we don’t manage to make the changes we need within the next few years. It shows us that we need to act, and fast.

If we manage to maintain the global temperature increase at or even below 1.5°C, then the impact will be less severe. This means fewer extreme events, less strain on natural resources, and more opportunities to revive the ecosystems and biodiversity that we rely on. In short, it means that adapting will be less difficult.

What it Means for the Philippines

What it Means for the Philippines

The impacts of climate change aren’t evenly spread out, because not every country has the same environment. Temperatures increase at different speeds everywhere, too. 

At present, about one-fifth of our planet is already seeing the more serious effects of rising temperatures in at least one season — the Philippines included. 

Did you know our home is the third most vulnerable country to climate change? The effects of weather extremes and the disasters linked to them have always been more devastating in the Philippines. 

Many people know we are more prone to storms and typhoons thanks to our location, but the actual numbers behind this are staggering. More than 20 storms enter our area each year, of which 10 are typhoons, and 5 of these have the potential to be destructive ones. 

That’s 5 times a year that our people have to suffer from life-threatening disasters like flooding and mudslides. And it doesn’t stop there — each time we face the effects of climate change, we also have to deal with threats to biodiversity, housing, food security, public health risks, and endangerment of vulnerable groups.

These effects even extend to our livelihoods. Our coastal resources and grasslands are highly vulnerable, too, to the projected increase in temperature. 

What we’re looking at is millions of our people facing challenges to their health, work, security, and more — and this risk increases each year, which poses the risk of social unrest and violence. In the absence of action, more and more Filipinos will suffer the consequences of climate change. 

What can Businesses do About Climate Change?

While the data we’re seeing now tells us that climate change is inevitable, it also shows us that it is not too late to try and change its course. This will require bold, collective action, and fundamental changes in our society — particularly how we grow food, use land, produce goods, and power our cities. This is where businesses like us can step in. 

While many companies are looking to implement sustainability in how they do business, bigger changes fueled by global organizations are also rising. Take, for example, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

This organization was made to increase transparency on climate-related risks, which is possible through the help of their supporters — private businesses — who commit to voluntarily releasing climate-related financial risk disclosures. This is important information for investors and other stakeholders, who wish to patronize companies that work sustainably and eco-consciously. 

The work that the TCFD does also increases transparency for markets, and pushes businesses to become more thoughtful and considerate of how their business contributes to climate change. This, in turn, should help markets become more efficient, stable, and resilient overall. 

Today, there are more than 1,000 supporters worldwide for the TCFD, showing that there is a significant shift in what people value in business. And, it shows that there is a building momentum on climate action, which we must preserve to build more resilient societies and a greener future for all. 

Aboitiz as the first Philippine Supporter of the TCFD

Heeding the worldwide call to action and following our decades-long commitment to our sustainability practices, Aboitiz Group joined in as the first Philippine supporter of the TCFD. 

The recommendations put out by the TCFD are things we hope to integrate into our long-term strategies. Through that, we seek to address the climate-related risks in our businesses and host communities, as well as enhance our ESG initiatives. 

The disclosures we make are also something we hope to further strengthen. We already make yearly reports on this front. But, with the guidelines set by the TCFD and considerations of physical, liability, and transition risks associated with climate change, we aim to provide even clearer, more reliable information for our stakeholders. 

Key Takeaway

The climate crisis, as you can see, drastically changes how we live, and how we work. Almost all industries will be threatened by its impact, as it causes a ripple effect from our natural resources to our societies. 

What climate change means for businesses, then, is a call to action. Though it is happening much more quickly than expected, we have still not lost the race against climate change. 

With measures like the TCFD, organizations like Aboitiz Group can lower the risks that come with rising temperatures, and even make meaningful progress toward a greener future. 

What is Women Empowerment? How Aboitiz Supports Workplace Equality

What is Women Empowerment? How Aboitiz Supports Workplace Equality

March 3, 2023

The fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is expansive and challenging. It asks us to spark change and “[achieve] gender equality and [empower] all women and girls.” 

For Aboitiz Group, we believe that this SDG represents not only a fundamental right for Filipinas but also a crucial component for a prosperous and sustainable world. 

While we acknowledge that women empowerment in the Philippines has seen progress over the last decades, we also acknowledge there is much more work to be done to advance equal opportunity in the workplace. 

Why Women’s Empowerment Matters

Why Women's Empowerment Matters

The answer is simple: because it’s the right thing to do — we fight for goals like this because we believe that it is our duty. Women and girls have the right to be in charge of their future, and we have the responsibility to promote their well-being.

But beyond simple human decency, there’s no denying women are one of the most powerful investments we can make for building a better future for the Philippines. When we empower women and present them with equal opportunity in education and livelihood, the more productive members of society we create. 

This, in turn, creates a ripple effect. Better education, work, and benefits not only influence her life but the life of her family and community, too. Equality will unleash a woman’s potential, as well as the people around her. This is the true secret of investing in women’s empowerment.

How We Build a Progressive Culture in Aboitiz Group

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are at the heart of our OneAboitiz Sustainability Framework. Aside from our Code of Ethics, and internal policies and campaigns, we follow these principles to embody this in all of our business units:

  1. Treating all women and men fairly at work — with respect and strong support for their equal rights and nondiscrimination.
  2. Ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all workers through inclusive healthcare, anti-harassment policies, and the like.
  3. Allow equal opportunity for corporate leadership. 
  4. Advance the education and professional development of women within our organization.
  5. Implement enterprise development and other programs that empower women in host communities. 
  6. Promote equality through our community initiatives and advocacies.
  7. Regularly measure and publicly report on our progress on this SDG. 

These principles help guide us to support inclusive growth both within and outside our organization. 

The Empowered Women of Aboitiz

The Empowered Women of Aboitiz

In line with our principles and core values, we make sure that no one is left behind. Each member, regardless of gender, is given opportunities for both professional and personal growth.

We always hope to nurture and create a workplace that treats everyone fairly — which is why our non-discrimination policies are strictly followed in all aspects of employment. And, the numbers show the fruits of that dedication. 

Across our business units, we see more and more women coming on board the Aboitiz Group. In Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), 50.18% of its employees are women. AboitizPower (AP) — which operates in a male-dominated field — has seen an increase in women employees year by year, going from 27.60% to 29.03% in just three years. 

Our executive-level positions, too, are becoming increasingly occupied by women — who now account for 42% of strategic roles in various business units.

To continue ensuring our organization upholds this inclusivity, we have several programs in play.

One of the most recent strides that we have made in terms of workplace gender equality (WGE) is our REMIX program. This is our approach to ensuring our companies can adapt and thrive as the workplace continues to evolve with each generation of professionals. Under this program are employee-led discussions and initiatives concerning diversity and equality, as well as e-learning sessions about relevant issues (such as the Anti-Sexual Harassment and Safe Spaces Act at the workplace). 

Through the REMIX program, we stay atop the most prevalent and pressing issues surrounding women’s empowerment. And, we help our team members stay empowered and equipped with information.

Another way we actively promote WGE is our Aboitiz Women’s Club — an employee engagement program that hosts learning sessions on laws that concern gender equality in the country.

Promoting Women’s Empowerment in our Communities

Outside the Group, we always look for new ways to strengthen our communities. This has allowed us to spearhead several CSR programs to empower women. For example, we work with the United Nations Global Compact Philippines to help build the right environment and supply chains for women-owned MSMEs.

We have also worked with countless cooperatives, such as the Benguet Thanksgiving Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC). In this partnership, the Aboitiz Foundation (AFI) held capability-building training and financial workshops to educate their women members, and empower them with life-improving skills.

Another example of how we empower women and girls in our communities is our recent project through Pilmico, who partnered with TESDA and DTI for the Wooden Spoon Program. This program provided a training facility in which entrepreneur bakers and pastry chefs had the space to learn and innovate, bolstering their technical training, and providing the opportunity to start their own pastry businesses. 

Key Takeaway

In the Philippines, women’s empowerment still needs much reform and effort to achieve true gender equality. But, we here at Aboitiz Group continue to fulfill our commitment to empower women and promote quality both in our organization, and our host communities. It is our hope that our work in establishing progressive, proactive, and bold programs will empower Filipinas to flourish, and unlock their full potential within our society.