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‘Strong tone from the top’ key to successful ESG integration


Keeping the legacy through sustainability

A strong push from an organization’s leadership and key decision-makers, a solid governance structure, coupled with a clear vision are key to implementing a seamless and successful environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration.

These are some of the best practices that Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) Chief Financial Officer Manuel Lozano shared at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and Security Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Sustainability Showcase of Notable ESG Projects as he discussed the Aboitiz Group’s #OneAboitiz Sustainability Journey and its initiatives.

For the century-old company whose legacy was built around good reputation, Lozano emphasized how ESG governance and a solid sustainability mindset keep an organization thriving amidst change.

“Our OneAboitiz Sustainability story begins with our big ‘Why,’ and that’s always been our Purpose of driving change for a better world by advancing business and communities (ABC). For us, this means being a better managed company, a leader in our industries, and a partner in nation building and value creation for all our stakeholders,” he said.

The Aboitiz businesses have seen five generations of operationalizing its ‘ABC promise’ “through headwinds, disruptions, and opportunities of these changing times.”

Lozano said organizations must drive learning and innovation to educate their team members on ESG or the concept of sustainability as many still have a limited understanding of the idea. “To date, many still think it is just about the environment,” he pointed out while urging participants to learn from peers and dedicated benchmarking events to build competencies.

An organization should also be able to “spread out the work through cross functional teams” in integrating ESG in its operations. “Let the functional teams focus on delivering on the performance goals of each ESG dimension. For example, our TCFD output was a sub-committee which included the Sustainability, Strategy, Risk Management, and Investor Relations functions,” Lozano shared. The Aboitiz Group is the first Philippine-based company to support and align with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

Along with strong governance, the Aboitiz Group has been building internal capabilities that are focused on delivering ESG goals and improving performance. AEV continues to be recognized as an S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) constituent company and scored 29% higher with a positive 10 points year-on-year increase that placed the company in the 81st percentile rank in the industrial conglomerates sector, up from its 66th percentile ranking in 2020. Subsidiaries Aboitiz Power Corp. and Union Bank of the Philippines also increased their assessment performance, with the former in the 67th percentile rank for the Electric Utilities Sector, and the latter in the 62nd percentile for the Banking Sector.

The Aboitiz Group’s sustainability initiatives and their key performance indicators highlight the organization’s contribution to poverty reduction, education, climate change, responsible consumption, providing decent work, disaster preparedness, technological innovation, and institutional partnership.

About Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.

AEV Equity Ventures Inc. is the public holding company of the AEV Group with major investments in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, and land. Today, AEV is recognized as one of the best-managed companies in the Philippines and in the region, consistently cited for its commitment to good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. With five generations of AEV Group business success behind it, AEV continues to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities.

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