COMMUNITY | PLDT, Smart to ramp up sustainable development initiatives on environment protection
Leading telco and digital services provider PLDT Inc. (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) announced recently their continued commitment in creating a more sustainable future for families, communities, and the country.
“We as Filipinos have a powerful motivation to be active when it comes to taking care of our planet. We are at the frontlines of climate change. Several recent international studies have warned that the Philippines is among the countries that are being most adversely affected by the changing climate,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT chairman and chief executive officer.
“Let’s take action to protect our planet. And let’s create hope for a better future for our people,” Pangilinan added. The Sustainability Program launch coincides with the National Climate Change Awareness Week and the 91st anniversary of PLDT. Spearheaded by the newly institutionalized PLDT-Smart Sustainability Group, an event was held at the Legazpi Street entrance of PLDT Makati General Office.
As part of the PLDT-Smart Sustainability Group’s efforts, Gabay Kalikasan aims to help people make better choices for the environment. Renowned muralist and environmental advocate AG Saño led and created “SmART for Nature”—a Gabay Kalikasan street mural which covers the exterior of PLDT Makati General Office. The 145-feet-long artwork was a joint effort between Saño and PLDT-Smart employees, with statements #SaveOurHome, #SmartPlanet, and #SustainableEnterprise referring to PLDT Group’s various business units. “PLDT and Smart go beyond business. Caring for our environment is as equally important as taking care of our people and hitting our profit targets. The impact of climate change affects everyone pervasively. This includes our safety, our health, our existence,” said Chaye Cabal-Revilla, PLDT senior vice president and Smart chief financial officer
Moreover, a homegrown innovation created by PLDT-Smart employees, the #SmartPlanet phone recycling device was unveiled at the Sustainability Fair. The technology will present a proper way of recycling discarded mobile devices to avoid harmful effects of electronic waste on health and the environment. Simultaneous bazaar events were held at PLDT and Smart head offices in Makati to increase sustainability awareness and provide people with a venue to patronize zero-waste essentials, organic food, all-natural personal care products, and other eco-friendly items.
The Sustainability Group mobilizes the PLDT and Smart employees and its top management executives to step up the companies’ environmental stewardship efforts anchored on its seven Sustainability pillars. PLDT and Smart’s Sustainability pillars are aimed at future-proofing PLDT’s business through continuous innovation, responsible and efficient operations, awesome customer experience and quality of service, environmental stewardship, corporate social responsibility and community relations, good labor practice and people management, and good governance and ethical business practices.
All these seven pillars reinforce and contribute to the triple bottomline espoused by sustainability. This includes profit or progress, people, and planet.
“At this point in time, we commit ourselves to step up our efforts to conduct our business in ways that protect future generations. This includes protecting our one true home that is our one and only planet Earth,” Cabal-Revilla said.
Creating a sustainable culture
PLDT and Smart’s sustainability efforts have been ongoing since 2015, long before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mandated all Philippine-listed companies to publish its Sustainability Reports for year-end 2019 in 2020.
“PLDT and Smart’s Sustainability Program is part of the companies’ continuous effort in making substantial contributions towards attaining key sustainable development goals,” Pangilinan said.
“More than just compliance, we want Sustainability to be part of PLDT and Smart’s DNA and culture,” Cabal-Revilla said.
Cabal-Revilla is also recently appointed as concurrent PLDT and Smart chief sustainability officer.