Freeman Cebu Business

Green developer attains zero carbon certification

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Green office developer NEO joined the growing number of companies in the world achieving zero carbon emissions and attaining five-star certifications under the Advancing Net Zero Philippines (ANZ/PH) program.

The ANZ/PH verifies a development’s net zero carbon energy emissions.

NEO, also a property manager, earned the certifications for three of its office buildings, namely One/NEO, Four/NEO, and Six/NEO, under the ANZ/PH pilot program and anticipates receiving the same 5-star certifications for the remaining four buildings of its portfolio.

This move by the company serves as an example of responsible building developers now fully embracing green development, as urged by pro-environment activists and property experts, not just to take advantage of growing market prioritizing green buildings, but also participating the larger cause of minimizing climate change.

The Advancing Net Zero Philippines program is the Philippine Green Building Council’s (PhilGBC) rating scheme to assess a building’s energy performance in line with the global campaign Advancing Net Zero of the World Green Building Council.

Net zero energy is defined as “the conservation and optimization of the energy use in projects, and the use of the renewable energy for the project's remaining operational energy demand.”

NEO chief executive officer Raymond Rufino shared the company’s firm resolve to continue its climate conservation measures.

“The severity of our current climate crisis requires a commensurate response and commitment from real estate owners, developers, and managers: NET ZERO. This is a difficult and ambitious commitment for NEO as we are a real estate company based in an emerging market. However, we firmly believe that we can and must play our part in this global collective effort. By being a pilot partner of the Philippine Green Building Council for its Advancing Net Zero (ANZ PH) Certification Program and achieving 5 Star Certifications for One/NEO, Two/NEO, and Three/NEO, we have demonstrated that Philippine developments can be Net-Zero. NEO has joined the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment and encourages all other real estate firms to heed the call and join us in going Net Zero,” he said.

NEO is also making greater strides in pushing energy efficiency for the Philippines as Seven/NEO will be representing the country in the upcoming ASEAN Energy Efficiency Awards.

The NEO office portfolio, which are all rated 5 Stars under the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) certification system, also won Outstanding Awards from the Department of Energy during the 2020 Energy Efficiency Green Building Awards last December 7.

These achievements are rooted in NEO’s commitment to energy efficiency and conservation practices that benefit both the environment and NEO’s tenants in cost savings and a sustainability advantage. NEO regularly promotes energy efficiency through events and programs exclusive for their tenants through their innovative tenant engagement campaign called #theNEOway. All common areas of the buildings use LED lights, which have notably proven more energy-efficient and economically sustainable than conventional light bulbs.

The entire portfolio is powered by 100 percent renewable energy from AboitizPower’s Cleanergy.

Since 2013, NEO and AboitizPower have formed a partnership that ensures the operations of NEO buildings using renewable energy. NEO’s seven intelligent office facilities are supplied with 14.5 MW of geothermal energy from the power company’s renewable subsidiary AP Renewables, Inc., specifically the MakBan Geothermal Plant located in the provinces of Laguna and Batangas. AboitizPower, together with its partners, is the largest operator of renewable energy in the Philippines bases on installed capacity.

NEO remains the most prominent office portfolio owner, developer, and manager in the Bonifacio Global City central business district through its green buildings. With their world-class property development standards, coupled with a 24x7, reliable energy source, renowned multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, Oracle, Procter & Gamble, Fujitsu, and JPMorgan Chase are equipped to run their local operations in an efficient and uninterrupted manner. This partnership further supports the Advancing Net Zero Energy Rating Scheme’s pillars to reduce the use of fossil fuel-based electricity through the use of renewable energy.

As their energy partner, AboitizPower is also in full support of NEO’s sustainable management practices.

“Our partnership with NEO spans 8 years of forged commitment toward nation-building. AboitizPower believes that sustainable development is anchored on building an enterprise consciousness around the conservation of resources, alongside the practice of socially responsible programs for the communities we serve. We applaud NEO’s response to climate emergencies and as a partner, we are committed to aligning our energy products and services to help them fulfill their sustainability journey,” noted AboitizPower  First Vice President for Commercial Operations Juan Alejandro Aboitiz.

Meanwhile, property services and consultancy provider, Colliers International Philippines emphasized the urgent need for building developers  to re-plan their existing buildings and make necessary investments for sustainable certifications for green buildings.

According to Colliers a lot of companies now all over the world are already making plans of taking advantage of the post COVID-19 recovery, and expanding offshore is part of the more important considerations. Number one consideration is to locate in an environment friendly buildings or certified green buildings.

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