JG Summit Holdings Inc., one of the country’s largest conglomerates, has set up three pillars of sustainability framework: pulling for progress, raising people up and caring for the environment.
“The move towards greater sustainability is strategic for us in aligning our business strategies with all our corporate social responsibility efforts on empowering communities, elevating people’s lives, and protecting our planet,” says JG Summit president and chief executive Lance Gokongwei.
Gongkowei, appointed in May 2018, marks a new generation of leadership which includes focusing on key areas towards sustainability through the adoption of a formal environment, social and governance program.
JG Summit has carved for itself an essential role in nation-building, a mission reflected in the three pillars of its sustainability framework through the combined strengths and competencies of its strategic business units—Cebu Pacific, Robinsons Land Corp., Universal Robina Corp., JG Summit Petrochemicals Group and Robinsons Bank.
Pulling for progress means creating a business and social environment that inspires, empowers and enables others to achieve success. It sets the stage for the right ideas to incubate and seeking like-minded partners both public and private to synergize with and leverage on each other’s strength.
The Flourish Pilipinas program of URC–Flour & Pasta Division is an example of such capacity-building initiatives specifically targeted toward the youth.
Developed in collaboration with the Department of Education, the program created and distributed a strategically designed multimedia teachers’ toolkit for bread and pastry production under the SHS Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track.
URC Flour engaged 11 public schools in Metro Manila and Davao, benefitting 1,109 senior high school students during the pilot stage.
Raising people up, meanwhile, pertains to practical and tangible positive impact in the daily lives of people from the customers, suppliers, employees and society at large.
JG Summit Petrochemicals Group in Batangas and its employees conduct educational outreach activities under their flagship and primarily employee-driven “Abot Kamay” program. Since 2000, JGSPG through Abot Kamay has been regularly supporting academically-qualified high school and college students within its host barangays with scholarships, covering expenses like tuition, books, uniforms, and monthly stipends.
JGSPG has also been actively supporting the needs of the nearby public schools, with annual school clean-up drives, donations of school and office supplies, furniture and equipment, as well as regular feeding and outreach programs, which has now benefited over 9,500 students of nearby barangays since the start of the program.
Robinsons Bank, for its part, promotes financial literacy under its flagship CSR program, RBank Creates Value. Volunteers of Robinsons Bank adopt schools where financial awareness activities are conducted for the pupils and their parents over a three-year period.
In the first year of the program, 263 RBankers volunteered to teach the “Value of Saving” to pupils of 15 schools nationwide. In the second year, almost 300 RBank employees visited 17 schools nationwide and impacted a total of 1,288 beneficiaries, composed of mothers of the pupils.
The focus of the initiatives in the third year is on the fathers of the children of adopted schools.
Caring for the environment ensures the positive impact of business operations and prudent use of natural resources. Waste management and energy efficiency are only among the most important areas of environmental concern that need to be highlighted in this time of climate awareness.
The “Juan Effect” project of Cebu Pacific in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Interior and Local Government engages travelers on their responsibilities as tourists and encourages them to proactively save the environment.
They are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles and eco bags and dispose trash properly with the goal of mitigating the impact of tourism on the environment. As of July 2019, the total pledge count on the Juan Effect website has reached more than 17,500.
For Robinsons Land Corp. sustainability means helping to address the depletion of natural resources. Its buildings are designed to make efficient use of energy, water, and resources.
RLC has invested in solar installations in 14 Robinsons Malls to reduce the demand for fossil fuels and limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Robinsons Starmills in Pampangah hosts the world’s largest solar rooftop installation in a mall. Some Robinsons Malls are also designed with a rainwater collection system and a wastewater and treatment and recycling facility to reuse water for non-potable use.
Green building practices also help mitigate climate change and the environmental impact of operations, with three of RLC’s office buildings being certified by LEED, an internationally recognized green building certification system.
“Running a truly sustainable business is a must. It is not anymore a nice-to-have, but rather a necessary component of a well-run business. Integrating sustainability at the core of our businesses which includes disclosure of its sustainability performance will enable JG Summit companies to focus on creating visible shared value. This is indeed a more impactful future for JG Summit and its key stakeholders,” Gokongwei says.
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