Driving change wherever business is done.
Ayala, one of the largest and most diversified business groups in the Philippines, celebrates its 186th year in the industry. Its businesses span in real estate, banking, telecommunications, water, power, industrial technologies, infrastructure, healthcare, and education. Its social commitment arm, Ayala Foundation, has programs that focus on education, youth leadership, sustainable livelihood, and the promotion of arts and culture. With headquarters in Makati City and operations mainly in the Philippines, Ayala continues to grow its regional and global footprint, serving millions of customers across market segments.
Since 2016, Ayala embarked on various sustainability initiatives and ensured it contributes positively at scale. It became a founding member of the Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP), a local network of the United Nations Global Compact. It started integrating risk management and sustainability, and began publishing its integrated report alongside launching a group- and nation-wide forest and biodiversity conservation program. In 2018, it further deepened its efforts to contribute to the UN SDGs by creating the Ayala Sustainability Blueprint, which emphasizes the scaling of its conservation programs.
Ayala’s initiative to be a founding member of the GCNP supports its view that businesses are opportunities to create shared value within the wider ecosystem, especially for its stakeholders, the communities it serves, and the environment. Ayala remains active in all GCNP initiatives as it grows its businesses while remaining conscious of its impact to the country. The company further integrates both sustainability and risk management into the core of its corporate strategies.
Another pioneering effort of Ayala is the publication of its first Integrated Report where it also presented its performance and contribution to all 17 SDGs. Its reports also present the company’s alignment with various sustainability standards and frameworks. In its most recent report, Ayala again pioneered the reporting on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures in the Philippines.
In an effort to be more purposeful in the way it contributes to the goals, the company created its Ayala Sustainability Blueprint in 2018. This is a masterplan with set targets on how each of its business units would contribute to the SDG that is naturally aligned to their businesses. The Ayala Sustainability Blueprint has mobilized the group into working together to contribute to the SDG, giving more focus and appreciation to the goals. This strategy further inspires the integration of sustainability to their thinking, operations, and strategy.
Further emphasized in the blueprint is Ayala’s group-wide, nationwide forest and biodiversity conservation program called Project Kasibulan, aimed at offsetting the carbon emissions of the group. The program has brought employee volunteers to the north of the country where they took part in the massive reforestation initiative where they are taught end-to-end planting and are partnered with the locals during the actual planting process. This partnership is crucial to the success of the program because the locals help in the monitoring and ensuring that the planted trees live. The combined planting technique and after-planting support system that was established resulted in a 96 percent seedling survival rate. To further ensure sustainability of the reforestation initiative, Project Kasibulan advocates that only endemic species, or seedlings of trees that that are native to the locality, are planted within its project sites.
The project has gained success and momentum, and it is now expanding to another region in the Philippines where baseline studies are currently being conducted to support a large-scale emissions reduction program for the group. Besides promoting volunteerism and environmental awareness to Ayala’s employees, Project Kasibulan ultimately contributes to the mitigation of climate change.
A key element to these initiatives is that Ayala has a dedicated Sustainability Division that is partnered with the Enterprise Risk Management Unit. The organization believes that integration of the two is significant to a company’s resilience and continuity. The department is guided by the Chief Risk Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer, a position that is held by the company’s Chief Financial Officer. As a conglomerate, the Ayala Group has created a Sustainability Council spearheaded by Ayala’s sustainability team. Each business unit has a designated sustainability representative from its own sustainability team or corporate communications team. The council’s function is to help spread sustainability awareness, work together on sustainability-related projects, and monitor environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) performance of the group for sustainability reporting.
“Ayala has a dedicated Sustainability Division that is partnered with the Enterprise Risk Management Unit as it believes that integration of the two is significant to a company’s resilience and continuity”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group
“The Ayala Sustainability Blueprint has mobilized the group into working together to contribute to the SDG. The significance of sustainability is given more focus and appreciation when paired with each business unit’s core business”
Dr. Jayanthi Desan, Lead Jury, ACES Awards