Aboitiz Group nears target of 3m trees

The Aboitiz Group, driven by its passion for a better world, continued to pursue initiatives to help enrich the planet through various sustainable projects that it implemented in 2012.

The biggest highlight of the “green efforts” last year was the planting of 640,000 seedlings across the country under the Group’s Aboitiz Passion for Reforest and Agroforest to Keep Program. The seedlings planted were mostly of native or indigenous species as well as of the fruit-bearing variety. Contributing significantly to the 640,000 tree count were the 65,000 seedlings planted during the Aboitiz Group’s annual simultaneous tree-planting activity, where about 3,000 volunteers from different business units planted seedlings in 11 areas nationwide in just one day. Most noteworthy is that the trees planted in 2012 has brought the Group’s tree inventory to an estimated 2.68 million; it is expected to hit Apark’s goal of 3 million this year, two years ahead of the 2015 target schedule. But the program will continue even after the goal is reached as the Group believes that no one can ever plant enough trees. Apark initiatives also include reforestation and agroforest development. In 2012, Aboitiz’s business units nationwide carefully selected projects that conformed to the Group’s five sustainability pillars—Rejuvenate Nature, Re-use/recycle, Reduce, Renewable Energy and Recharge Communities—aimed to strike a triple bottom line balance of people, planet and profit. “Striking this balance can help us bequeath a robust business operating in a healthy planet for future generations,” said Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. president and chief executive Erramon Aboitiz. Another initiative, the Group-wide Race To Reduce program, had 22 plants, offices and facilities of different business units participate in a resource consumption monitoring for energy, paper and water. Through Race to Reduce, the units have established specific guidelines like shutting off lights, monitoring aircon temperatures, shifting to more efficient lighting systems, and recycling paper to better manage or reduce consumption volumes. The Group also participated in the global Earth Hour event as the official partner of the World Wildlife Fund for Cebu. Business units shut off lights for an hour from 8:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m. as a way to contribute to the global campaign to reduce emissions. There were also localized sustainability projects initiated by various business units. Davao Light and AP Renewables Inc. have teamed up with AMORE and Hapinoy, respectively, to provide solar lamps to remote communities in Mindanao and Luzon. Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corp. in Tarlac also continues to generate biogas from its swine biogas digester producing cleaner energy from a renewable resource. Aboitiz Power imports a lot of equipment that are shipped in wooden crates to all its various facilities in the country. Instead of discarding the crates, Visayan Electric Co. retained the services of a carpentry firm to refashion the crates into tables and chairs, which are then donated to various schools supported by the Aboitiz Foundation in Cebu. Davao Light has also begun recycling their crates, and other BUs nationwide are expected to follow suit. Hedcor’s Eco Market Day allowed schools and communities to bring in recyclable wastes and get paid for them. The schools, in turn, used the money to buy their own supplies. Sustainability, through the triple bottom line balance, is a key objective that the Aboitiz Group will continue to pursue, untiring in its efforts to achieve it.
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