MPIC dedicates more than a decade to ESG underpinning
Investing in electricity, water, transport and health care – essential elements in the daily life of Filipinos – translates into a contribution to national progress and the improvement of the quality of life in the country. Rooted in services essential to thriving communities, it is crucial to build sustainability into the operations of these companies. Now more than ever, there is a strong call to action to meet the pressing needs of the present without compromising resources for the use of future generations.
Years before the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, the leading infrastructure investment firm Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) has always been more determined in driving its community-focused programs, focusing on the long-term impact on profits, people, and ultimately the planet.
“Protecting the planet for the benefit of present and future generations remains without a doubt our most important challenge at this time,” said MPIC President Manuel V. Pangilinan. “We are witnessing the rise of new viruses and the intensification of climate-related disasters. All of these interrelated challenges deeply shape the way we do business. “
Beyond the sustainability initiatives of its operating companies, MPIC has actively innovated programs that meet key sustainability goals outside of its direct business interests through the Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF) and of its flagship program, Shore It Up! (UES).
Strengthening the company
After Typhoon Ondoy hit and submerged most of Metro Manila and its suburbs, the natural disaster prompted the business group to seriously tackle climate change and environmental degradation. With a water-centric business asset through Maynilad, the Company has recognized the effects of climate change on water and its subsequent impact on the ecosystem around it.
Regardless of the proximity, the degradation of the coastal and marine bio-network compromises the physical, economic and food security of local communities and affects the quality and quantity of marine resources. Critical ecosystem services such as food source, oxygen production and carbon storage are threatened and adaptation to climate change by natural means is slowly becoming unachievable.
MPIC’s energy assets are currently seeking to increase the use of renewable energy systems, with the ultimate goal of reducing the impacts of CO2 and other GHGs on the ocean. However, SIU has focused its attention on the ocean itself, creating and fundamentally supporting initiatives aimed at simultaneously mitigating the effects of climate change and improving the lives of Filipinos.
After the MVP group of companies strategically aligned its CSR programs through an impact integration assessment and the distinction of key advocates, MPIC decided to focus its efforts on responding to environmental issues such as the climate change and ocean conservation, as most of our investments are linked to natural resources. .
The ocean, being the greatest support of life and ecosystem on Earth, is essential to ensure a sustainable future. Our growing partnerships with local communities in coastal communities have made it possible to implement our programs on Mangroves, Marine Protected Areas and
Marine Guardians, ”said Melody del Rosario, MPIC’s vice president of public relations and corporate communications.
On the environmental impact
Now in its 13th year, MPIC has partnered with local governments and implemented various programs at 11 partner sites, a highlight of which are the Mangrove Protection / Spread and Information Centers in Alaminos City, Pangasinan; Del Carmen on the island of Siargao; and Cordoba, Cebu. At the three sites, there are nearly 5,300 hectares of protected mangroves.
A public-private enterprise with LGUs, it serves as a legacy MPIC project for the Filipino people – an investment in infrastructure for the country’s future.
After nearly a decade of partnering with the local government of Alaminos, the MPIC commissioned a study with the Business for Sustainable Development (BSD) to assess the impact of SIU’s presence in the region. Approximately 111.92 tCO2e of carbon stock in Bued Mangrove Park, equivalent to the removal of greenhouse gas emissions from 24 passenger vehicles driven for one year, has been attributed to MPIF support and investment. For each peso invested, 0.59 Php of social value was created through the improvement of the fishing sector, coastal protection, flood protection, as well as increased knowledge of mangroves.
Center Del Carmen has reported 0% mangrove cutting since its inauguration. “The conglomerate, through the SIU program, is also developing a unique carbon offset program with the municipality of Del Carmen on the island of Siargao, which is home to a contiguous 4,000 hectare mangrove forest, the second largest of its kind in Philippines after Palawan ”, adds Del Rosario, also president of the Foundation.
The implementation of its Guardians of Marine Protection, Inspection and Conservation (MPIC) program, empowering local bantay dagats in the provinces of Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro and Medina in Misamis, in the ‘Oriental, has resulted in a significant decrease in illegal fishing practices. Medina reported an increase in catches and fish sizes, citing an estimated 40% increase in May of last year.
MPIC Guardians are also responsible for the constant monitoring of their Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to prevent environmental degradation, thereby protecting marine habitats of ecological and biological significance. Currently. the Guardians monitor around six MPAs, one in Medina and five in Puerto Galera.
On the socio-economic impact
The main initiatives of the SIU do not focus solely on mitigating environmental impacts on coastal communities. They also promote the involvement of the local community by offering livelihood opportunities, whether complementary or resulting from its programs, also impacting the socio-economic aspect.
The mangrove centers have directly employed ten mangrove eco-guides at the three sites, while also becoming additional eco-tourism centers in their towns and creating a myriad of tourism-related businesses and activities that employ locals. . Del Carmen has developed a full-fledged community ecotourism program that has generated 1,000 direct jobs, more than 10 host families, 20 transport services, 20 restaurants, 1 operational shopping center, 146 boat tour operators and a reduction in poverty rate of 29% as of 2019 data.
The Alaminos center, on the whole, has created a social value worth approximately Php 770,000, through the establishment of tour guides / boat owners, souvenir shops, mom-and-pop shops. and transit houses.
So far, MPIC has created 36 MPIC Guardians who help enforce marine laws to ensure the sustainability of aquatic resources. This year, the Foundation is expanding the program to the province of Marinduque, creating a strategic brotherhood to protect the passage to Île Verde.
“Fishing communities are among the most important but underserved sectors in the country, which is why MPIC and its affiliates invest most of their resources in programs focused on fishermen and coastal communities,” says Del Rosario.
Sustainability at the heart
In March 2021, the MPIC Group Sustainability Council was approved to support the company’s renewed focus on sustainability. The main objective of the Board is to harmonize and coordinate the sustainable development initiatives of the MPIC Group for a wider positive impact on all stakeholders.
“The creation of the Group Sustainability Council, under the leadership and direction of the Board of Directors, underscores MPIC’s determination to embed sustainability at its core,” said Chaye A. Cabal – Revilla, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Safety Officer by MPIC. “Driven by our goal of contributing to national progress and improving the lives of Filipinos, we will use the combined resources of the entire group to make a difference and humbly support the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” “
Even before that, sustainability was at the heart of the SIU’s goals. Its initiatives focus on several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, a set of 17 goals set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly, designed as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all of us. by 2030.
At the local level, SIU initiatives contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP), a plan to restore, rehabilitate, effectively manage and secure the biodiversity of the Philippines. by 2028, to maintain ecosystem services to support healthy and resilient Filipino communities and deliver benefits for all.
In line with this renewed commitment to perpetuate global standards for overseeing corporate sustainability initiatives, MPIC also strives to adhere to both the Sustainable Accounting Board Alliance (SASB) framework, a program for organizations and individuals who support the need for greater decision-making. useful and cost-effective disclosure of sustainability; and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the largest corporate sustainability initiative aimed at aligning strategies and operations with universal principles of good governance and ethical business practices.
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