Freeman Cebu Business

AGI: Biz sustainability comes first over profit

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — One of the Philippines’ largest conglomerates, Alliance Global Group, Inc. (AGI), has vowed to prioritize sustainable business operations over profits to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG).

“We must start to become more conscious and responsible for the long-term social, economic, and environmental impact of our businesses. As a responsible corporate citizen, our decisions should no longer just be driven by what is good and profitable, but by what is right,” Kevin L. Tan, chief executive officer, AGI, said.

Led by tycoon Dr. Andrew L. Tan, the conglomerate has committed to be carbon neutral and to generate at least 5-million direct and indirect jobs by 2030, as part of its contribution to UNSGD.

The companies under Tan’s holding firm include; Megaworld Corporation for real estate; Emperador, Inc. for liquor; Travellers International Hotel Group for gaming, entertainment and hotels; Golden Arches Development Corporation for quick service restaurants under the McDonald’s brand; and Infracorp Development, Inc. for infrastructure.

AGI currently employs over 80,000 people in its various businesses across the country.

Megaworld and its subsidiaries Empire East Land Holdings, Inc., (EELHI), Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. (GERI), and Suntrust Properties, Inc. (SPI), which employ over 5,000 people, lead the pack by committing to continue creating sustainable townships and communities that utilize renewable energy and promoting ‘plastic neutrality.’

It also commits to create around three million direct and indirect jobs in its various developments across the country within 10 years.

Emperador, on the other hand, with its vast vineyard properties across Spain and state-of-the-art distilleries in Scotland, vowed to continue utilizing technologies that save water and reduce emission.

These include the use of renewable energy, particularly biomass and solar, for their vineyards and distilleries in Spain, Mexico, and the Philippines; and the use of water conservation methods for irrigation of vineyards in Spain and Mexico. The company also maintains vineyards and forest lands in Spain totaling around 1,500 hectares.

On job generation, Emperador’s global businesses employ both white-collar and blue-collar workers in the Philippines, Europe and South America, and even support local farmers.

Travellers International, likewise, embarks on projects that utilize renewable energy such as solar, and the employment of more local hires in its casino and hotel operations.

Golden Arches Development Corporation, which operates McDonald’s Philippines, has over 65,000 directly-hired employees all over the Philippines, with an average of 80-100 additional workers employed for every restaurant that is opened. This also includes job opportunities of students and out-of-school youth to their special employment program.

McDonald’s also advocates the use of reusable cutlery, and the minimized use of plastics through the introduction of paper bags, straws, and lids. The company also started rolling out reusable packaging, solar rooftops and use of ecobricks in some of its stores, and reinforced waste segregation system.

Our collective strength as a conglomerate certainly gives us the ability to make these positive changes happen,” Tan explained.

AGI’ held a SustainAGIlity Summit recently which gathered some key speakers from government such as Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Senator Pia Cayetano, and Atty. Rachel Gumtang-Remalante of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Other speakers who also shared their knowledge, research and case studies on sustainable development include Maria Luz E. Javier of Global Compact Network Philippines, Erik Christianto of Trucost Standard & Poor’s, and Emmanuel Rubio of AboitizPower.

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