Aboitiz Batangas and Cebu Industrial Estates Lead Through ESG Best PracticesAly Virrey
Aboitiz InfraCapital’s Aboitiz Integrated Economic Centers are committed to upholding best practices in environmental management, social responsibility, and good governance (ESG) within all its industrial-anchored Estates — anchored on the Aboitiz Group’s sustainability agenda.
The company understands that with its Estates hosting some of the biggest companies in the world, its approach to doing business has a large ripple effect on its stakeholders.
The Aboitiz Group has always been committed to striking a balance between the interests of people, planet, and profit; and we take this very seriously as an operating business. Constant learning and sharing of best practices have been key to sustaining our operations throughout this pandemic and they will reinforce our strong position as we head into recovery.Rafael Fernandez de Mesa First Vice President, Aboitiz Integrated Economic Centers.
“Through consistent implementation of these ESG best practices, we hope to not just deeply embed the sustainability mindset in all levels of the organization, but also influence and encourage our business partners, locators, and host communities to live by the same standards,” he added.
Championing the environment, sustainability
Many initiatives focus on protecting the environment and ensuring the sustainability of resources, such as LIMA Estate’s LIMA Organization of Pollution Control Officers (LOPCO), which currently has 41 member locators. LOPCOs serve as environmental stewards that promote environmental conservation and protection within and around the property.
Another flagship initiative at LIMA is the “Adopt-An-Estero” Program, a collaborative undertaking among the estero community, donor-partners, local government units, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); validated through water quality monitoring in the adopted area. Through this initiative, LIMA has been awarded Best Available Practices In Solid Waste Management by the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau in 2019 and 2020.
Meanwhile, The Outlets at Lipa, LIMA’s mall development within its Central Business District, is partially powered by solar energy. The Outlets’ 1.5MWP solar panels, installed by AboitizPower Distributed Energy (APX), offset up to 31,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to planting 1.4 million trees. LIMA locators also partially use solar energy with a combined total capacity of 17MW. In 2017, Adventenergy, Inc., the Retail Electricity Supplier subsidiary of AboitizPower, started delivering 18MW of renewable energy from its geothermal power plants to LIMA contestable customers.
Aboitiz Construction, which has built projects for LIMA, recently introduced the “Scrap to Crop and Waste Management” program. Under this, the company sells scrap materials from its project sites and funds generated benefit Batangas communities.
In 2020, Lima Water Corporation was accredited as an environmental testing laboratory of the DENR, affirming its commitment to outstanding water quality testing standards. In parallel, LWC launched a pilot automation program, as it works towards adopting a Smart Water Network wherein its water facilities turn into interconnected and intelligent systems, thereby ensuring locators will enjoy reliable water supply in the years to come.
In Cebu, the Mactan Economic Zone 2 has replaced 100% of its sodium street lights with LED lights, reducing electric consumption. Through third party providers, MEZ2 has been using electric shuttles and tricycles within the Estate since 2015. In addition to helping the environment, these initiatives also ensure the safety of workers commuting on and off site. Last month, MEZ2 also co-led Lapu-Lapu City’s Drainage Clean-up efforts to ensure free flow of water in the drainage area.
Promoting safety, sound labor practices
To ensure minimal disruption amid the pandemic, disinfection of common areas of the Estates are regularly scheduled. A strict no face-mask no entry policy is implemented, with safety reminders posted throughout the development.
To further accelerate vaccine rollout in the city and ensure that locators and their employees get inoculated, LIMA partnered with the Lipa City Government and Philippine Economic Zone Authority to set up a vaccination hub at The Outlets at Lipa. This complements The Aboitiz Group’s efforts to vaccinate its team members and subcontractors to ensure continued operations in the Estate.
LIMA, MEZ2, and WCIP management also hold regular virtual meetings with locators regarding concerns and safety procedures such as the reporting system, contact tracing, infection control, and other COVID-related matters.
In addition, the Estates practice good governance through equal opportunity policies, staff benefits, and professional development.
By building integrated townships anchored on its 1,100-hectare industrial zones, Aboitiz is promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the country.
The Aboitiz Integrated Economic Centers collectively provide jobs to about 90,000 Filipinos. In April, LIMA launched commercial lots for sale within its Central Business District. To date, 49% of total commercial lots have been sold. LIMA also plans to build a seven-tower office complex in the heart of the commercial zone. The Villages at Lipa, AboitizLand’s 49-hectare residential development with over 2,000 units, completed its model village in July.
With expansion construction and plans well underway for LIMA and WCIP respectively, the two Estates will be able to welcome more locators, developers, businesses, and merchants in its commercial centers, thereby creating up to 25,000 job opportunities for its host communities and other neighboring provinces.
The smart development of these Aboitiz Integrated Economic Centers, all fitted with the latest digital infrastructure solutions that enable smart city technology, promises to advance their respective communities and elevate the overall standards of living in countryside locations.