There are many creative ways to efficiently utilize our resources and properly manage our wastes if we make a clear stand, communicate our initiatives effectively, and take environmentalism to heart – all in order to #Connect2Earth (this year’s Earth Hour slogan).
This was the joint message of the Aboitiz Group and four sustainability experts who recently shared their knowledge on resource efficiency and waste management during Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.’s (AEV) Earth Hour activity dubbed “An Hour of R2R (Race 2 Reduce),” named after R2R, a Sustainability program of the Aboitiz Group that promotes the efficient use of enterprise resources.
Held last March 26, at the Aboitiz Corporate Headquarters at Bonifacio Global City, “An Hour of R2R” featured Elena Pernia, University of the Philippines (UP) College of Mass Communication Dean; Laura David, UP Marine Science Institute Associate Dean for Research; Abby Bonita, UnionBank Sustainability Officer, and environmentalist celebrity Antoinette Taus, in a live webcast viewed by thousands of Aboitiz team members all over the country.
“Everything we do, everything we use, everything we throw away is precious. It took a lot to make them, it took a lot precious resources that we are running out of. So, in everything we do, let us have empathy toward creation and for the efforts that we put in everything we do,” Taus, who founded and heads the resource allocation-oriented CORA Foundation, emphasized.
In her talk, Pernia claimed that communication of science initiatives formed a critical part of sustainability efforts, and the medium is just as important as the message. “It is not just about the crafting of messages, but also ensuring understanding,” Pernia said.
David agreed, noting for instance that aside from concepts taught on disaster resilience and response, the UP Marine Science Institute developed a board game that has a sense of familiarity and would appeal to the target audience. The “anti-Monopoly” Resilience: Survive and Thrive traditional tabletop card game teaches players lessons on balanced development and sustainability.
The Aboitiz Group and its business units have long been strong supporters of the environment in its businesses and facilities. For one, banking unit UnionBank’s corporate headquarters in Ortigas Center is now fully powered by Cleanergy, AboitizPower’s brand for clean and renewable energy, claimed Bonita, and is now LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified by the United States Green Building Council, making it a healthy, highly-efficient, and cost-saving “green” building.
The Aboitiz Group, through the Aboitiz Foundation, spearheads the implementation of programs that promote environmental conservation and biodiversity enhancement. Through the active participation of Aboitiz team members across the Group, the organization ensures that it is doing its part in caring for the planet while building a sustainable enterprise that can be entrusted to future generations.
Among these initiatives include the R2R program, the A-Park Program which aims to grow nine million trees nationwide by 2020, and the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, an eight-hectare outdoor biodiversity park in Davao City that is home to the critically-endangered hawksbill sea turtle (pawikan) and 66 other species.