Green initiatives usher in scion into Tan family empire

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    Tan III plants an aromatic Thai coconut at Absolut Distillery’s facilities in Lian, Batangas.
    Tan III plants an aromatic Thai coconut at Absolut Distillery’s facilities in Lian, Batangas.

    Impact investment is the way to do it, said to Lucio “Hun Hun” Tan III, president of Two Degrees Inc. ,who made his first public appearance at a tree planting activity of two Lucio Tan Group (LTG) of Companies in Lian, Batangas last Saturday.

    Two Degrees was formed by Tan’s late father Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr. to push initiatives that impact for the better.

    “I believe that environmental consciousness should be adopted in every level of business in order to secure future stability,” he told executives and staff members of Absolut Distillers Inc. and Allianz-Philippine National Bank Life.

    “Aside from reforestation, my father had also hoped to provide employment to local communities,” said Tan III, as he planted the first of 2,000 trees of an aromatic Thai coconut that grows to just five feet tall, matures in three years and bears four times more nuts.

    The Thai coconut will be part of the sprawling Absolut Distillery Inc. plant in Lian, Batangas, in a research and development program to see if it thrives in Philippine conditions.

    The complex boasts of a two -megawatt solar farm, the only distillery in the country with an in-house solar power plant. The distillery also turns sugarcane waste into 100,000 liters of bioethanol a day; it is sold to the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries, easing carbon footprints and turning in profits in the process.

    The distillery turns its wastewater into animal feed and liquid fertilizer, the latter distributed free to neighboring farms.

    “Rest assured, I intend to continue my father’s green advocacy and efforts to promote sustainability,” said Tan III, 27, the eldest among Lucio Sr.’s grandchildren.

    “Bong (Tan Jr.) believed that clean energy is the next big thing in the future,” said Gerry Tee, Absolut Distillery chief operating officer. “He saw the need for business to level up the commitment to mitigate climate change.”

    The young Tan will be assuming a lot of responsibility, said Tee who oversees LTG’s P3.6-billion distillery operations. “He is energetic, full of ideas, a quick learner and more than able.”

    Tan III is a software engineer at Lyft, the billion-dollar ridesharing company that operates in 640 American cities. He graduated summa cum laude with a double degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University (Class of 2015).

    One of the world’s top universities near Silicon Valley, Stanford’s School of Engineering awarded Tan III with the Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Scholarship, an annual citation for outstanding academic achievement.

    “As of today, 500,000 hectares have been planted which covers part of a total 24,000 has.,” Tan III said over the weekend of the Green Canopy Project his father started to plant 12 million trees to reforest the Sierra Madre mountain range in Northern Luzon.

    The Green Canopy Project reflects the transition of Allianz into investments that generate zero carbon footprints by 2050, said Alex Grenz, president and chief executive officer of Allianz-PNB Life.

    “It is a huge commitment that involves trillions of dollars,” said Grenz who oversees Philippine operations for Allianz, the world’s largest insurance group by profit, forecast to generate 12 billion euros of profit this year.