PLDT Inc., together with its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. were granted the 2020 Sustainability Initiative of the Year Award by US-based Business Intelligence Group (BIG) for their environmental stewardship program Gabay Kalikasan.
The BIG Sustainability Awards honor organizations and individuals who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission. PLDT and Smart are the only Philippine companies to be recognized by the international award-giving body to date.
Aimed at boosting environmental stewardship and helping communities curb the effects of climate change, Gabay Kalikasan was launched by PLDT and Smart during the 2019 National Climate Change Awareness Month. The event coincided with PLDT’s 91st anniversary and the institutionalization of PLDT Group’s Chief Sustainability Office.
Gabay Kalikasan’s initiatives leverage on digital technology and PLDT-Smart’s network in order to help protect and conserve Philippine rainforests, mangroves, marine life, and peatlands. Projects in the pipeline include green merchandising and renewable energy for cellsite infrastructures.
“We at PLDT-Smart believe that everything is interconnected when it comes to the environment, and that business response to climate change issues will have an effect on how the present and future generations will live their lives,” said PLDT Group chief sustainability officer Chaye Cabal-Revilla.
“Through Gabay Kalikasan, PLDT-Smart aims to raise the awareness of both employees and the public on the need to protect the environment, to pursue energy-efficient initiatives in operating our business, and to balance profitable operations and the need to join massive global efforts to address climate change,” Revilla said.
International names awarded by BIG alongside PLDT-Smart include fellow telecommunications companies AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, and Hilton Hotels.
The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.
Gabay Kalikasan represents PLDT-Smart’s Effective Environmental Stewardship sustainability pillar, one of the seven that make up the company’s Sustainability Framework. The other pillars are Awesome Customer Experience and Quality of Service, Growth-driven Innovation, Responsible and Efficient Operations, Excellence through Human Capital, Positive Community Impact, and Good Governance & Ethical Business Practices.
PLDT is the first telco in the world and only company in the Philippines to be a member of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Alliance. “Gabay Kalikasan’s award for Sustainability Initiative of the Year underscores PLDT and Smart’s commitment when it first joined the SASB Alliance: to support the need for more decision-useful, cost-effective sustainability disclosures,” said SASB Membership and Engagement manager Rebecca Bar.
PLDT is also a member of Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), United Nations Global Impact (UNGN), and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). “I am pleased to see PLDT becoming increasingly involved with ESG specifically, and with the SASB Alliance, with the TCFD and the United Nations Global Impact effort. This is a useful start, and we have more to do in the coming years,” said PLDT chairman and chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan.