MANILA – Ayala Corporation Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala reaffirms the company’s commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050, as he speaks alongside global leaders at the Milken Institute’s Asia Summit on Tuesday.
“All of us have a responsibility to do whatever we can—whether you are a member of the private sector or the government. There has been huge global cooperation on climate action, and we see it as our role within the Ayala Group to do our bit,” Zobel said at CNBC’s “Sustainable Future” interview minutes before the summit.
Last October, Ayala Corporation President & CEO Fernando Zobel de Ayala announced the company’s net zero commitment, which aligns its business strategy with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels.
Such an announcement came ahead of the recently held 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), where signatories to the Paris Agreement reported back on progress made since 2015.
Ayala Corporation and its core business units are signatories to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and are currently working to implement the 11 recommended disclosures. Ayala also partnered with South Pole, a leading project developer and global climate solutions provider, to have an accurate view of emissions across its core business units and a tangible roadmap for reducing them in line with its net zero by 2050 ambition.
During a panel discussion at Milken Institute, the Ayala Chairman said financial institutions and investors also have a huge influence on the net zero transition. Its power platform AC Energy is also currently working with the Asian Development Bank to accelerate the early retirement of coal power plants, while creating cleaner energy sources.
“Many are moving out of traditional thermal assets and investing in renewables, but nothing is happening to those existing thermal assets. They are either being sold or still being run,” Zobel said.
With ADB’s help, AC Energy’s South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation is set to retire by 2040, 15 years ahead of its technical lifespan. Other climate-action interventions done by Ayala and its core businesses include:
- Ayala Land pushes for offsetting its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2022 for its commercial operations.
- BPI will not finance new greenfield coal power generation projects. The Bank will reduce its coal power generation exposure to half of 2020 by 2026 and to zero by end of 2032.
- Globe, a participant to the Race to Zero and a signatory to the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), has shifted to buying energy directly from renewable energy producers for its headquarters in Taguig and six offices and facilities since 2019.
- AC Energy is on its way to installing 5GW of renewable energy by 2025.
- Ayala Corporation’s Project Kasibulan, a reforestation, forest protection, and biodiversity conservation program for carbon sequestration is to be piloted in the island of Mindoro.
Zobel noted that climate change is an existential crisis that affects governments, businesses, and every single lifeform on Earth. However, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked renewed cooperation among businesses and governments in the local, regional, and global scenes.
“COVID-19 has force fitted a whole new level of cooperation that didn’t exist before. The private and the public sectors, when they realized the magnitude of the economic damage that would come from this pandemic were forced to come together and work together to address it,” Zobel said.
“There have been a consensus and cooperation that businesses must have a broader sense of responsibility. I think that is something we should all celebrate and enjoy,” he added.