Aboitiz paves the way for a more sustainable future through the circular economy
The Aboitiz Group is paving the way for a more sustainable future as it champions the building of a circular economy, starting with its own business units and the communities they are located in. The Group showcased its various #OneAboitiz Sustainability programs and highlighted its best practices in waste management and reduction during a recently-concluded forum hosted by Livable Cities Challenge Philippines in partnership with Globe Telecom.
The forum, entitled “Circular Economy: Take, Make, Use, Repeat” tackled the question of sustainable consumption and production systems, and how the private sector can contribute to building a “circular economy.”. Ana Margarita “Ginggay” Hontiveros, Vice President for Reputation Management of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) joined a panel of speakers composed of other senior business leaders and subject matter experts on sustainability and resiliency.
The Aboitiz Group has always been a pioneer and a staunch supporter of sustainability efforts. The Group actively commits to helping the country achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and serves as a member of the Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP), a local entity of the UN Global Compact in the Philippines. Moreover, Sabin M. Aboitiz, the Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), is the representative of the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council, which leads regional discussions and policy recommendations on climate leadership, food security, and digital transformation.
During her presentation, Hontiveros emphasised the importance of how sustainability is integrated into the Aboitiz Group. “We are committed to a mindset that views sustainability not as a cost of doing business, but as a way of doing good business. Sustainability is very much an integral part of our business strategy and culture. It is very much a part of who we are as individuals, and who we are and what we aspire to achieve together as an organisation, in partnership with our many stakeholders and communities,” she said.
Hontiveros highlighted the best practices of some Aboitiz business units under the “Wealth Out of Waste” (WOW) program. The program encourages a more circular flow of materials within the Group, functioning on the premise that more than 90% of waste from company operations may be totally recyclable or reusable.
Pilmico turns rice husk waste such as this into alternative bunker fuel
For example, food unit Pilmico’s Rice Husk Project uses biomass boilers to turn rice husk waste into alternative bunker fuel, cutting dependence on traditional bunker fuel by more than 60%. But it doesn’t end there—the waste ash produced from this process is incorporated into cement aggregates used for improvements in the different Pilmico facilities. This concrete mix from waste ash reduces actual cement usage by 20% or more.
The Group’s affiliate Republic Cement, through its Ecoloop program, partners with LGUs and other companies in co-processing plastic waste as an alternative fuel in its cement production. By doing so, Republic Cement has helped reduce the amount of plastic in landfills and waterways. They have also started to use data science and artificial intelligence to reduce emissions while improving product quality—showing that contributing to environmental sustainability while solving customer-centric problems is totally possible.
In closing, Hontiveros underscored how essential it is for the private sector to take a proactive role in sustainability, starting with their own business practices. “The most important decision businesses can make now is building a circular economy and using resources more efficiently. Our role towards a sustainable future is about doing more, and doing better, by using less resources as often as we can. Aboitiz’s sustainability journey is one that we commit to everyday, because the goal is much bigger than the company: the goal is to build resilience and sustainability for the future—our shared future.”