PLDT, Smart bolster resiliency initiatives, sustainability

posted September 19, 2020 at 01:25 am
by  Manila Standard
PLDT Inc. and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. reaffirmed their commitment to shaping a more crisis-resilient future with the recent kickoff of the Sustainability Reporting Program for 2020.

PLDT, Smart bolster resiliency initiatives, sustainability
PLDT Group Chief Sustainability Officer Chaye A. Cabal-Revilla
The PLDT Group seeks not only to comply with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals but also to make sustainability and the reporting of environmental, social, and governance practices part of its DNA and culture.

 “For us at the PLDT Group, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven home even more emphatically the learning that sustainability is a vital part of our business. Our ability to reliably continue business under difficult conditions is essential to ensuring resilience for every community in times of crisis,” PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan says.

“We are committed to boosting efforts to conduct business in ways that protect future generations,” says Chaye A. Cabal-Revilla, PLDT Group Chief Sustainability Officer, PLDT SVP & Group Controller, and Smart Chief Financial Officer.

PLDT began ESG reporting in 2015, predating the SEC requirement that all Philippine-listed companies publish their sustainability reports for yearend 2019 in 2020.

Long-term sustainability management

Among those supporting PLDT-Smart’s sustainability reporting practices are leading global organizations that uphold stringent standards in monitoring companies’ ESG practices.

One of them is the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Alliance, an exclusive membership program that supports the need for more decision-useful, cost-effective sustainability disclosures that meet the expectations of investors. PLDT is the first telco in the world and only company in the Philippines to be a member of SASB.

“We thank PLDT for its leadership in sustainability. It is important not only because of your contribution to society, protecting the environment, and building trust with all of your stakeholders, but also because effectively managing sustainability issues over the long term is likely to improve business performance in the form of reduced operating costs, enhanced reputation, greater resilience to risk, and the potential for competitive advantage," SASB External Communications Head Sten White explains.

Business continuity for swift COVID-19 recovery

PLDT and Smart are also registered as a Participant of the United Nations Global Compact Network (UNGCN). A notch higher than Signatories limited to local engagement, Participants are committed on an international level to integrate the renowned organization’s Ten Principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

The alliance underscores PLDT-Smart’s commitment to making the UNGCN principles part of company strategy, culture, and day-to-day operations, and to engage in collaborative projects in order to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSGDs).

“Sustainability is even more important during a pandemic,” UNGCN Philippines Local Network Representative and Chairperson Yayu Javier points out. “The UNGCN is calling on business leaders to unite and support communities and companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The global plan will be critical to limit further disruption to the economy and facilitate business continuity for a swift recovery.”  

An integral part of business practice

The PLDT-Smart 2020 Sustainability Reporting Kickoff followed the Group’s recent 2020 Sustainability Initiative of the Year award from US-based Business Intelligence Group (BIG), for the company’s Gabay Kalikasan environmental stewardship program.

BIG honors organizations and individuals who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission. PLDT and Smart are the only Philippine companies to be recognized by the international award-giving body to date. 

“PLDT-Smart go beyond business, because caring for our environment is as equally important as taking care of our employees and customers, and hitting our profit targets,” Cabal-Revilla says.

“Through Gabay Kalikasan, we aim to raise the awareness of both employees and the public on the need to protect the environment, to pursue energy-efficient initiatives in operating our business, and to balance profitable operations and the need to join massive global efforts to address climate change,” she expounds.

Sustainability, resiliency in times of crisis

Gabay Kalikasan represents PLDT-Smart’s Effective Environmental Stewardship sustainability pillar, one of the seven that make up the company’s Sustainability Framework.

The Group’s other sustainability pillars are Awesome Customer Experience and Quality of Service, Growth-driven Innovation, Responsible and Efficient Operations, Excellence through Human Capital, Positive Community Impact, and Good Governance & Ethical Business Practices. 

For more information about PLDT and Smart’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.pldt.com or send an email to [email protected]

Topics: PLDT Inc. , Sustainability Reporting Program for 2020 , Manuel V. Pangilinan
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