Having keen business foresight in satisfying consumers’ unmet needs and a strong commitment to social good laid the foundation for the formal integration of sustainability at JG Summit. It is a key priority for founder and chairman emeritus John Gokongwei Jr.’s son Lance when he took over as president and chief executive officer in May 2018. As Lance presides over the conglomerate’s transformation, sustainability and business strategy have become inextricably linked.
A milestone in JG Summit’s sustainability journey is the CEO Sustainability Summit, a conglomerate-wide alignment, where all the heads of the conglomerate’s strategic business units shared how their frameworks, best practices and future initiatives toward enhanced sustainability are rooted in their business strategy.
Cebu Pacific’s (CEB) investment in game-changing “ecoplanes” that can fly passengers farther and faster at less fuel burn manifests the airline’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. Its multi-awarded tourism campaign “Juan Effect” is a multi-sectoral advocacy whose goal is to influence tourists, local business owners, and LGUs to make a difference by changing at least one daily habit to mitigate the negative impact of tourism on popular tourist spots. Supporting this is CEB’s implementation of environment-friendly processes and investments in their operations.
At URC’s Sugar & Renewables and Agro-Industrial Divisions, over dependence on fossil fuel–based energy has been considerably reduced with the help of biomass and biogas technologies that use waste and by-products generated by the plants. Generating energy from plant and animal waste has resulted in lower electric consumption while protecting the environment.
For Robinsons Land Corporation, integrating business and sustainability strategies entail fostering responsible growth, reaching underserved markets, and reshaping communities. Robinsons Starmills in Pampanga boasts of having the world’s largest rooftop solar panel. Total investment in solar panels for the various Robinsons malls all over the country will reach close to Php1.7 billion by the end of 2019.
JG Summit Petrochemical Group’s flagship environmental programs in Batangas City manifest that environmental responsibility is a priority. One such initiative is the construction of artificial reefs in Barangay Simlong where the plant is located. Now on its 17th year, the project has demonstrated a long-term positive impact on the marine environment in the area. As it supports abundant marine life, fishermen from nearby communities now have better fishing opportunities. The potential for the artificial reefs to become tourist income-generating diving sites is also being explored.
Robinsons Bank focuses on financial inclusivity to serve the typical Filipino who remains unbanked. Simplé Savings, which was launched in October 2018, opened gateways to easily obtain a savings account with its simplified requirements. It offers no maintaining balance, requires Php100 only for initial deposit, earns interest and simplifies the KYC (Know-Your-Client) process using just one valid identification card from the client. More than 26,000 Filipinos now have a Simplé Savings account less than a year after its launch.
As one of the country’s largest multi-format retailers, JG Summit affiliate Robinsons Retail Holding, Inc. contributes to the growth of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) within its supply chain. Its largest segment, Robinsons Supermarket, sources fresh produce and seafood from local suppliers in the province or region where the branch is located, and works with distributors who engage local farmers and fisher folk. Out of its total 2,300-strong supplier base across all its categories, around half are SMEs. Meanwhile, TGP (The Generics Pharmacy), which has the widest network of community drugstores in the country with around 2,000 branches nationwide, encourages aspiring entrepreneurs through its franchise model.
The CEO Sustainability Summit, was also an opportunity for the JG Summit Strategic Business Unit (SBU) CEOs to explore potential synergies within the conglomerate that address issues like waste management and reduction, as well as water and energy efficiency. With its scale, diversity, and strong ecosystem, JG Summit hopes to utilize and build on its expertise in different areas of business to deliver long-term, positive impact on a wider and more inclusive scale.
“Today, more than ever, business exists for a nobler purpose. Business has an inherent responsibility to uplift the lives of people while ensuring that this one Earth where we live in remains viable for future generations,” said Lance.