Coming off a whole day of training on sustainability reporting (SR), an overwhelming majority (85%) of participants who responded to a survey were convinced that their respective companies should invest in SR. Twenty-eight participants from eighteen of the leading companies in the Philippines were introduced/re-oriented to the significance of SR based on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and various Environmental Indicators. The training, held on July 31, was organized by the Philippine Business for the Environment and sponsored by Nestle Philippines, where the activity was held.
The program is a series of trainings using GRI and GHG Protocol standards. Professor Colin Hubo, UA&P Vice Director for Social Responsibility and GRI stakeholder council member, gave the introduction on SR and its importance as well as the various Categories that it is comprised of.
Experiences were given by some of the country’s trailblazers in SR. Mr. Ricky de Castro, Executive Director of TeaM Energy Foundation, described his organization’s experiences in achieving an A+ application level. Ms. Marilou Erni, General Manager of Petron Foundation, Inc., shared her journey of on how she advocated for SR in all levels of the company all the way to submitting themselves to an external review. Mr. Mark Mulingbayan, Environment Manager of Manila Water, expounded on Environmental Indicators and how to measure them.
Why do SR?
Prof. Hubo explained that SR is a process of disclosing an organization’s environmental, economic, and social performance – veering away from the traditional notion that profit is the sole statistic needed to measure business performance. The whole process aims to measure various performance Indicators with the purposes of managing them for sustainability. There is now a need to shift the business behaviour towards sustainability from a triple bottom line perspective even as stakeholders expect more transparency and accountability from the organization.
Aside from the question on company investment on SR, respondents were also asked four other questions to which a majority indicated the importance of the training and the practice of SR. Twenty participants responded to the survey suggesting that the topic was relevant (70%), can be applied at work (70%), a formal certified training from GRI is worth investing in (60%), and their companies could benefit from external expert guidance on SR (75%).
Participants came from companies from different sectors such as GMA, Chevron Phils., SM Prime Holdings, Jollibee Foods Corp., Meralco, Philips, Cemex, Holcim, Energy Development Corp., First Carbon Solutions, Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp., United Pulp & Paper Company, FDC Utilities Inc., Development Bank of the Philippines, Honda Cars Philippines Inc., Landev Corp., Inchem, and the Philippine Business for Social Progress.
Feeding off this positive response, the next instalment in the series will be held this September and will focus on the Economic and Social Indicators which include Labor Practices, Human Rights, Society, and Product Responsibility.