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Land Bank awarded most sustainable company in the Philippines

The Sustainable Business Awards held for the first time in the Philippines recognised companies that excelled in energy management, waste and material productivity, environmental disclosure, and other responsible practices.

The Land Bank of the Philippines has clinched the top gong at the Sustainable Business Awards (SBA) held on Monday for the first time in the country.

Organised by Singapore-based events firm Global Initiatives and Price Waterhouse Cooper Philippines (PWC), the SBA selected Land Bank as the Best Overall Winner out of 22 companies that won awards at a ceremony held at Dusit Thani Manila, which was attended by over 100 guests.

Land Bank – a government-owned company that has a social mandate to boost rural development through credit assistance to farmers and fisher folk, among other services – also won for the climate change category for their progressive environmental policies and strong support for mitigation and adaptation projects. In 2013, they also extended over four billion pesos of loans to environmental and renewable energy projects, said the organisers.

They also stood out for their inclusive business models, innovative programmes, and for improving the livelihood of local communities, added the organisers.

“At Land Bank, sustainability is a shared responsibility. It is embedded in our programs, work processes, products and services, and it also extends to our clients and partners,” Gilda Pico, Land Bank president and CEO, told Eco-Business.

Land Bank, which began operating sustainably in 2010, has several CSR initiatives, such as the ‘Adopt a Watershed’ programme and Manila Bay clean-up efforts, and has also produced a sustainability report for 2012 and 2013, following the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative, said Pico.

Along with Land Bank, other winners included Honda Cars Philippines for the supply chain management category and Nestlé Philippines for water management and waste and materials productivity. 

The awards, which is also held in Indonesia and will launch in Singapore later this year, covers 10 categories across a comprehensive framework of environmental measures: strategy and vision; workforce; CSR in the community; energy management; water management; waste and materials productivity; climate change; supply chain management; land use, biodiversity and the environment; and, business responsibility and ethics.

At Land Bank, sustainability is a shared responsibility. It is embedded in our programs, work processes, products and services, and it also extends to our clients and partners

Gilda Pico, Land Bank of the Philippines president and CEO 

This framework was developed in collaboration with various stakeholders and global experts, said the organisers, adding that a quantitative review of companies’ environmental impacts, such as its carbon footprint or amount of waste generated, is important because what is measured is managed.

Gene Morales, PWC consulting director, explained that PwC worked with Global Initiatives to narrow down the prospective award participants by checking the 24-page questionnaire they each answered and by conducting a 30- to 60-minute phone interview with each participant to determine the existence of documents, procedures, and projects.

“Using the scoring framework provided by Global Initiatives and the results from the phone interviews, PWC rated the survey respondents. We then submitted an initial score that determined a short list,” Morales noted.

This list was provided to a National Advisory Panel, which is composed of eight members such as Hans Sicat, president and chief executive of the Philippines Stock Exchange and Philippine Senator Loren Legarda, who chairs the senate committees on environment and natural resources and climate change. The members of the panel, who gave insights and knowledge on the companies’ performance and reputation, finalised the list of winners with Global Initiatives. 

Trucost, a London-headquartered natural capital accounting consultancy, also supported the organisers in the assessment of quantitative data and environmental measures.

According to the organisers, this allows companies to demonstrate that they are both aware of the scale of their environmental risks and are taking steps to manage them in a way that is data driven and systematic.

Chaoni Huang, Trucost head of business development in Asia, handed out the additional category award on environmental disclosure to Henkel, a multinational company in the home, beauty and adhesive industries that has been releasing sustainability reports globally since 1992.

Global Initiatives chief executive Tony Gourlay told Eco-Business that the company plans to roll out the SBA to Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia next year.This will help increase the awareness for sustainable business practices and show how such responsible-oriented operations can lead to benefits for companies, stakeholders and the environment, he said.

“We will be able to see the state of sustainable business across Southeast Asia. We will also be able to see how different sectors are performing, and how companies perform within their sector,” he added.

The Sustainable Business Awards held on Monday in Manila took place on the first day of the co-located Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture, which drew over 150 local and international participants from the government, business, academe and civil society sectors. 

Sustainable Business Awards Philippines 2014 Recipients

Strategy and Vision

Winner: Ayala Land

Special recognition/runner-up: SM Supermalls

Workforce

Winner: Globe Telecom

Runner-up: Monsanto, Cebu Holdings

CSR in the Community

Winner: The Cravings Group

Runner-up: San Roque Power

Energy Management

Winner: Development Bank of the Philippines

Runner-up: ADEC Group

Water Management

Winner: Nestlé Philippines

Runner-up: Henkel

Waste and Materials Productivity

Winner: Nestlé Philippines

Climate Change

Winner: Land Bank of the Philippines

Runner-up: Citibank, Radisson Blu

Supply Chain Management

Winner: Honda Cars Philippines

Runner-up: Nestlé Philippines

Land Use, Biodiversity and the Environment

Winner: Energy Development Corporation

Runner-up: Development Bank of the Philippines

Business Responsibility and Ethics

Winner: ADEC Group

Runner-up: Honda Cars Philippines

Best Environmental Disclosure

Winner: Henkel

Best Overall Winner

Land Bank of the Philippines

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