The ability to make a positive impact on others is a fundamental need of each individual and, for the Aboitiz Group, giving back to our communities is what our brand promise of Advancing Business and Communities (ABC) speaks of. To help A-People further understand the dynamics of ABC, EIA sat down for a live-streamed chat (watch it here) on AGORA — part of the ongoing Fit 4 U: A-People Engagement Month activities presented by Group HR — to share his thoughts on what it means to give back to the community, whether on our own or as part of the organization.
Giving back relates to our sense of pride, our sense of responsibility, and our personal purpose. For the Aboitiz Group, giving back has two forms: corporate social responsibility (CSR) and shared value.
Volunteerism is one of the big opportunities that we all have to give back to our society and something we can be very proud of that all of us have been making a great effort in this. Participation in the annual Brigada Eskwela, Groupwide Simultaneous Treeplanting, disaster relief efforts, and Christmas Outreach has been growing by leaps and bounds every year. That’s a clear sign that people are very interested in participating in some of these areas.
In our survey, 90% of A-People feel that giving back, CSR, and volunteerism are very important in satisfying their needs and 70% feel that we can do a lot more and there should be more opportunities for us to volunteer.
Team members get together to volunteer their time to CSR projects or special projects on their own. Over the long term, the goodwill that is created by team member-initiated CSR programs will go beyond the direct beneficiaries to hundreds of thousands more. With the creativity of A-People, these programs will lead to something bigger.
Giving money is the easiest thing to do but giving your precious time is very difficult to do because we’re very busy. It’s admirable to see team members give their personal time to help the less fortunate and represents their way of driving change for a better world, our Group Purpose.
Advancing Business and Communities is, basically, our brand — how we drive change for a better world. By doing this, we are creating a lot of change to improve our world, our communities, our society.
We have to be cognizant of what we are doing and why we are doing them. Profitability and achieving the goals of the corporation are very important. For something to be sustainable it’s got to be profitable, otherwise, what is going to fund it in the long term? But on top of that, what are we doing to fulfill the needs of our society? That’s what Advancing Business and Communities really means. It’s achieving both together — achieving the goals of the corporation while fulfilling the needs of our society.
As example, AboitizPower DU demonstrates Advancing Business and Communities by having low systems losses. The lower the systems losses, the lower the cost of power for our consumers.
We also save on power we have to purchase, meaning we don’t have to produce power and, in doing so, we help the environment, reduce greenhouse gases, and CO2 emission.
CitySavings provides opportunities for teachers to borrow money at lower rates and use it to send children to school or improve businesses they may have. While the company makes money, the teachers also benefit through lower interest rates, the ability to send their kids to school. You feel proud that you are also helping that teacher achieve their personal goal.
Hedcor, a very profitable company, building run-of-river hydros across the country but we’re producing renewable energy, helping to reduce our carbon footprint, helping to reduce CO2 emission. So we’re doing good, we are helping society achieve its goals.
What we do has to have a greater purpose than just making money, achieving budgets, satisfying our bosses. What goes with doing all of that is finding that we are actually fulfilling a need for our society. This gives us pride, achieving our personal goals and leaving a legacy that we can all be very proud of.
Volunteerism is something all team members should try, start small and see how rewarding it can be. We should use our individual skills and see how we can enhance Aboitiz Foundation‘s programs.
Advancing Business and Communities is how we can create positive change in our society through our businesses, through our daily work, and our daily lives. Many times a lot of these things even result in higher profitability. CSR, Advancing Business and Communities, volunteerism, etc. are fantastic ways of giving, making us proud, and getting engaged.
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