Brand & Business: PLDT, Smart named sole Filipino winner in 2020 Sustainability Awards for global leadership

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES – PLDT Inc. (PLDT), together with its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) 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.

Leveraging on digital technology

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,” says PLDT Group Chief Sustainability Officer Chaye A. Cabal-Revilla.

“Through Gabay Kalikasan, PLDT-Smart aim 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,” she expounds.

Delivering results towards a sustainable world

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.

“We are proud to reward and recognize PLDT-Smart Gabay Kalikasan for their sustainability efforts,” says Maria Jimenez, Chief Nominations Officer, Business Intelligence Group. “It was clear to our judges that their vision and strategy will continue to deliver results toward a cleaner, more sustainable world.”

Advancing ESG commitments

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.

Earlier this year, PLDT advanced its environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments by joining four leading global organizations that monitor the sustainability practices of companies. One is the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), which supports members such as PLDT that aim to build capacity among their staff, identify best practices, and explore the use of material sustainability information. PLDT is the first telco in the world and only company in the Philippines to be a member of the 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,” says 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,” says PLDT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan.

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