× By using this website, you agree to the terms of the Valenzuela City Privacy Notice

Going green is good business, group says

Joseph Benjamin Torres, program manager at Philippine Business for the Environment, introduces ways businesses in Valenzuela can address climate change, at the Valenzuela City Social Hall, November 17, 2015. Environmentally sustainable practices benefit not only businesses but employees as well, he said.

Photo by: King Al Mendoza
View Gallery

An environmental business group is urging workers, enterprises and local governments to put in their share of averting the negative effects of climate change.

Speaking during the local tripartite council’s anniversary celebration in Valenzuela City on Friday, November 13, Joseph Benjamin de la Torre, program manager at the Philippine Business for the Environment, encouraged city officials, business owners and managers and labor group representatives to invest in cleaner technologies and reward businesses who take steps to reduce their carbon emissions.

The US-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration defines climate change as “a change in Earth’s overall climate,” as manifested in the increase in global temperature and shifts in precipitation patterns. It is brought about largely by human-made causes, foremost among them carbon emissions.

The effects of climate change are something the Philippines is all too familiar with, the country having to contend in recent years with destructive storms that come well before or after the usual storm seasons.

Climate change has cost governments all over the world much, said Torre, citing a study by the DARA Group and Climate Vulnerable Forum which shows that by 2030, climate change would have incurred damages amounting to 3.2% of global gross domestic products.

Top companies in the Philippines have responded to the challenge, putting climate change at the top of their corporate agenda.

Last October, leaders of major local business groups and CEOs signed the Manila Declaration, which expresses their commitment to support the government’s climate change action plan and make sustainable practices a mainstay in their operations. Such practices include greening their supply chain, or source their raw materials from other companies who run their businesses in an environment-friendly fashion.

De la Torre pointed out that going green also fosters inclusive growth, benefitting not only businesses but their employees as well. Buying cleaner technologies would require companies to train their employees into learning new skills to run these new machines and processes, Torre said.

De la Torre pointed out ways businesses can contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change:

Formulate a business continuity plan. Businesses should have clear-cut plans on how they would run during and after a calamity.

Invest in clean technology, such as solar-powered machines, and shift to using renewable energy.

Align land use plan with disaster risk reduction plan. When drawing its land use plan, a local government should also have in mind environmental impacts. For instance, flood-prone areas should be kept from turning into industrial zones.

Create an enabling business environment. The national and local governments can encourage sustainable business practices by not only policing companies who produce pollutants but also by rewarding those with exemplary environmental track records.

Plant trees. Tree-planting is a popular corporate social responsibility activity which significance has, sadly, yet to go beyond photo opportunities, the seedlings forgotten after the event. It would do businesses well to see the seedlings’ growth through. 

2015-11-24 | By: Rafael Carpio Cañete

Latest News