GCash For Good.
The Philippines’ G-Xchange, Inc. gets creative in getting Filipinos involved in environment conservation.
Established in 2004, G-Xchange, Inc. (GXI), popularly known as GCash, is the Philippines’ leading micropayment service, which transforms mobile phones into virtual wallets for secure, fast, and convenient transfers. With over 36 million Filipinos remaining unbanked with no access to banking services, Gcash serves as their lifeline in order to process financial transactions without the need to use cash.
With a mission and vision to make every Filipino financially included, some of the transactions you can make via GCash – a part of Globe Telecom, or Globe, a major provider of telecommunications services in the country – include buying prepaid load, paying bills, sending money, making donations, shopping online, and purchasing goods. GCash also serves people according to its purpose, which articulates “Making Filipinos’ Everyday Lives Better”.
As ACES’ Green Innovation Award recipient, GCash adopts a holistic approach to sustainability in its pursuit of financial inclusion across 3 pillars, including its environmental impact, social impact, and governance impact. These pillars are also heavily aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), guided by the 10 UN Global Compact Principles, which then turn into meaningful waves of impact across the country.
As part of the Globe conglomerate, GCash’s sustainability framework – GCash for Good – is in tune with Globe’s, which is geared towards operating responsibly and in compliance with global sustainability standards and practices, comprising the Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) adoption, to drive positive change. Like Globe, GCash ensures that its work supports the financial, educational, and healthcare sectors.
In line with its commitments to climate action, GCash got more Filipinos involved in mitigating the effects of climate change through its interactive platform – GForest – which was introduced in 2019. Through GForest, over 10 million GCash users have been able to play an active role in addressing the reforestation issue by earning green energy points via GCash, and planting a virtual tree on GForest. Together with its partners, GCash converts these virtual trees into real ones, with trees being planted across their partner sites.
Additionally, GCash has launched multi-year programs with various organisations for reforestation initiatives nationwide, such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF – Philippines), ABS-CBN Foundation, and Ayala Land Inc. These partners work closely with the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) and local government units to identify sites for tree planting. Other initiatives include design and planting workshops for farmers, and empowering local communities in forest activities and financial literacy.
Guided by Globe’s Chief Sustainability Officer, GCash leverages on technology to make it as seamless as possible for users to participate in GForest, such as the use of QR codes. Its sustainability team then tracks key reforestation metrics, and as of February 2022, 1 million virtual and actual trees have been planted. It also aims to achieve its goal of planting 2.3 million trees by 2023.
While GCash’s products and services are cashless and keeps its users’ carbon footprint low, the app has made it possible for users to take action in reducing their environmental impact to access services without the need to travel, thus also reducing fuel consumption, and eliminating the need to use paper, and as a result, cutting down environmental cost.
With over 1 million USD invested in the GForest platform and its tree planting operations annually, the platform also now includes additional features, such as enabling users to earn green energy points by walking, in an effort to cultivate a greener lifestyle amongst its users. Similarly, employees are able to participate through internal engagement programs such as GNation, whereby they are encouraged to become ambassadors for Good.
Through GForest, GCash has also been able to further further educate and empower Filipinos to make more sustainable decisions. The outcomes of GCash’s actions have been resounding, and the Green Innovation Award by ACES attests to the company’s creativity in getting more Filipinos actively involved in conserving the environment.