AE Team | October 9, 2018
Aboitiz Group sustainability stewards joined fellow practitioners in the maiden staging of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Summit in the Philippines held last October 8 at the Gold LEED-certified Conrad Manila Hotel where conglomerates and organizations spur discussions on how to promote sustainable development and help bridge the gap in sustainability reporting.
The summit’s lead convenor, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has partnered with the SM group of companies led by SM Investments Corporation, the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, the Philippine Business for Environment and the Makati Business Club in launching this summit in the country.
UnionBank Chairman Justo A. Ortiz led the Aboitiz sustainability stewards in representing the Group at the GRI Summit. Mr. Ortiz joined top honchos in an exclusive CEO breakfast meeting, which was followed by a presentation on sustainability and digital transformation in a panel discussion with Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Alternergy Co-founder and Chair Vince S. Perez, Universal Robina Corporation President & CEO Erwin Lee, and SM Investments Corporation Board Adviser Hans Sy.
The summit’s keynote speakers were Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Olam International Limited and the Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Tim Mohin, Chief Executive of GRI.
GRI said that some 7% of publicly-listed companies or 23 of the 263 listed companies in the Philippines, which comprise at least 35% of the market capitalization in the Philippine Stock Exchange, have issued Sustainability Reports.
Aboitiz Equity Ventures is one of the few listed companies that are disclosing non-financial performance through its integrated report. Aboitiz published its first sustainability report in 2009 and began consolidating its financial, environmental, social, and governance reports in an integrated publication in 2017. This format underscores our commitment to a holistic and transparent manner of reporting of the Group’s performance in business, impact on society, and to our stakeholders.
AEV Assistant Vice President for Corporate Communication and Sustainability Dave Devilles was one of the panelists in the session titled “Challenges, Keys to Success, and Impacts of Sustainability Reporting”. Mr. Devilles shared the Group’s sustainability journey and the importance of using the sustainability report as a tool for stakeholder engagement especially for a conglomerate like Aboitiz that has operations in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure and land on top of the stakeholders of its two foundations, Aboitiz Foundation and WeatherPhilippines. The data culled from the reports also serve as jumping boards for the development of innovative solutions that enhance programs, processes and systems, products, and services.
We are keen on reporting the Group’s environmental, social and governance performance for better stakeholder engagement and execution excellence. With this, we are stepping up our efforts to build a culture of sustainability among our internal and external stakeholders. With the digital transformation of Aboitiz, we can effectively embed this mindset by complementing our traditional communication platforms with new media to reach more stakeholders.
The panelists (L-R): Prof. Colin Hubo of the University of Asia and the Pacific, Dave Devilles of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Koleen Davila-Palaganas, Ásthildur Hjaltadóttir of Global Reporting Initiative, Ma. Victoria Alarcon-Tan of Ayala Corporation, and Roel Espiritu of Maynilad Water
The Aboitiz Group were represented at the GRI Sustainability Summit by AEV’s Gloidan Papas and Elina Mendoza, UnionBank’s Abby Bonita, Pilmico’s Arjohn Frances Belen, AboitizLand’s Atty. Mischele Sta. Ana and Carlo Tenerife, Republic Cement’s Rodel Santiago, and Aboitiz Construction’s August Dacanay and Ramon Rius.