A prominent Philippine business leader recently pointed out that working in unison is the key to fight the challenges of climate change.

“We must work together and hand-in-hand. We cannot do it alone,” Ayala Corp. Chairman c said in the roundtable on “Advancing Sustainability from Concept to Scale” organized by the Milken Institute on November 16.

The Harvard-educated Zobel de Ayala said there is a big need for concentration on the Ayala group to reach its net-zero journey target by 2050.

On October 20, Ayala President and Chief Executive Officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala announced that the country’s oldest business house is committed to net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050. 

Ayala said the net zero target will contain three phases: Scope 1, direct emissions from owned or controlled sources; Scope 2, indirect emissions from the generation of purchased power; and Scope 3, all other indirect emissions in the value chain.

In the forum, the Ayala Corp. chairman said the company is working with global climate solutions provider South Pole, which will help the conglomerate craft a roadmap and quantify their measures.

“It would be difficult to bring us from point A to point B,” he said. 

He admitted that phasing out the thermal units will take a considerable time. Moreover, he said transforming mechanisms, such as financing, will have to be set in place to assist companies toward a green shift. 

Ayala’s 360º Sustainability Framework embodies the conglomerate’s sustainability philosophy as a business group.

The  framework was developed  by studying the corporation’s impacts on the environment, society, and economy amid global, national, and local sustainability challenges. 

Zobel de Ayala also expressed confidence in the growth of renewables as it will be scalable in a given time.

“Battery technology as a holder will continue to increase in sophistication and capacity,” he said. 

Moreover, Zobel de Ayala said there  has to be more discussion on the transitioning to renewables to prepare the people and the country.

Besides financial mechanisms, biodiversity and cooperation, he said the recently concluded 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, pointed out the importance of partnership.

Zobel de Ayala said the global issues and other pain points tackled in COP26 were addressed by corporations. 

In the Philippines, he said Covid-19 forced the private sector to work together with the government.

He added that the sophistication acquired by capitalism was a big factor to help the government in tackling challenges of the pandemic.

The forum’s moderator was Su Shan Tan, managing director and group head of Institutional Banking od DBS.

The other speakers were Maurizio Brusadelli, executive vice president and president of Asia, Middle East and Africa of Mondelēz International; Gianfranco Casati, CEO of Growth Markets, Accenture; and Pier Luigi Sigismondi, president, Food and Beverages Group of Dole Sunshine Co. 

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