With more and more companies making the shift towards becoming more environmentally conscious, “sustainability” has become a buzzword that they use to promote these ideals. Though it is all over the place, sadly some parts of the population are still unaware of what being sustainable truly means. As such, this means they are unable to take concrete steps towards it themselves or make decisions that would benefit the environment.
For the Metro Pacific Investment Corporation (MPIC), they believe that sustainability is “a collective responsibility.” As the group of companies that handles most of the country’s basic needs, they feel that it is not enough for only a few people to be aware of what sustainability is, but rather everyone should know about it in order to make lasting changes.
“Sustainability is a collective responsibility. It’s a cohesive thing-the triple bottom line is all connected to each other. At the end of the day, sustainability is about impact for all,” said MPIC Chief Sustainability Officer June Cheryl Cabal-Revilla.
As such, the MPIC has constructed their own roadmap towards sustainable practices, which is made up of four parts—governance, reporting and disclosure, strategy and performance, and stakeholder engagement. Through all this, they hope to contribute to national progress and at the same time improve the quality of life of every Filipino.
“We would like to transform, perform and grow across all the economic, environment, social and governance segments and that’s what we are putting in front of the leadership agenda of MPIC,” she said.
To do this, MPIC makes sure they adhere to global standards of sustainability. Though most companies adhere closely to the Global Reporting Initiative, MPIC goes above and beyond by also adhering to standards set by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), being also the first conglomerate to form an alliance with them.
However, allying oneself with prominent organizations is not enough. MPIC also makes sure they set an example for sustainability by embedding it into their strategies and performances.
“We’ve actually built a culture of establishing sustainability across everything that we do and we’ve tried to operationalize it also,” said Cabal-Revilla, who describes this as a “challenge” due to the traditional mindset of not doing anything if it does not affect the bottom line.
“But at the end of the day, sustainability does affect everything,” she reiterated.
By operationalizing sustainability and measuring its financial and operational impact, MPIC was able to show employees that “sustainability” is not an empty corporate buzzword but a real, tangible thing. This is further proven by MPIC’s countless sustainability linked advocacies such as their Gabay Kalikasan advocacy, which focuses on climate action.
According to Cabal-Revilla, though the pandemic is the main concern of the day, it is nothing when compared to the effects climate change will have on our planet.
“With Covid-19, we have a chance of survival by locking down or vaccinations, but with climate change, we have nowhere to hide and we are all vulnerable,” she said. As such, she reiterates that it is now more important than ever that each and every person is aware of what sustainability is and starts to assess the environmental impact of every decision they make.
“They would actually be able to relate to it and not just look at sustainability as just a byword. Gone are the days that we do just plain corporate social responsibility. We have to assess the impact of the things that we do.”