Lopez Group celebrates 9 lives of OML’s environmental legacyThe Lopez Group joins the nation in celebrating Environment Month this June with the theme “Lopez Environmental Renaissance Festival”—a celebration of the many ways by which the vision of the late chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez (OML) has taken root and has been transformed by the various members and foundations of the Lopez Group.
In with the old, out like new
The old model of environmentalism saw the environment as something to preserve and protect, but it also saw the exercise of preservation and conservation as a siloed endeavor, one that could not be easily pursued alongside other matters, let alone business.
But the vision of OML proved them wrong. Marrying business and the environment was not at all a contradiction—it was in fact good business sense. This he knew as early as the 1980s, when sustainability was not yet a buzzword.
The Lopez Group is following in OML’s footsteps and raising the vision a bar higher.
Steps for trees: Walk the Talk goes virtual and competitive
Many people know that OML was an honest-togoodness tree lover. He had wanted to be a forester and if only for his famous Bombax, nothing could be farther from the truth. Many people also know that OML loved to hike. Reaching the summit of Mt. Kinabalu, his highest climb among many others, is a testament. Here’s an activity that combines both.
After three years in hibernation due to the pandemic, the Walk the Talk (WTT) team revives the traditional walking activity by putting a spin (or four) to it and bringing these two loves of OML—trees and walks—together in one event.
First, WTT goes virtual. Anyone can now participate in their own home, or wherever they are, on their own time. By simply tracking your steps with a walking app, you can submit a log of your walks and be counted!
Second, WTT is a month long! If the traditional WTT before was a half-day event, now WTT happens throughout the month. Walk as often as you want and make every day a WTT day.
Third, WTT turns competitive. Infused with a “Healthy Steps Challenge” design, WTT will count your steps and the individual or organization with the highest number of steps accumulated within the month wins! Not only that, you gain steps by joining other Envi Month activities. So the more you participate, the more steps you get credited with.
Lastly, WTT will reward steps with trees. The top participating individuals and organizations will not only receive certificates of recognition (aka bragging rights), but will also be honored with trees planted in their name.
How can you register? How do you submit your steps? How much can you brag? Check out the sidebar on this page!
Green living: Environment is a lifestyle
He has been called many things, and “environmentalist” surely fits the bill. OML’s concern and drive for the environment was more than a passion, it was a way of life, a value passed on to the next generation, an example he led by.
No wonder the Group keeps turning a new leaf with projects and activities that transform recreational activities into life choices. Various webinars and learning events are lined up:
First Balfour kicked off with a webinar on plastic waste and sustainability on June 8.
ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. (AFI) conducted a sciencementoring session for science teachers from eight public schools in Lobo, Batangas on June 9-10. To help the AFI team, volunteers facilitated sessions and documented the activity.
With the OML Center, First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH)-First Gen Corporation’s Wellness Wednesday webinar will tackle making low-carbon and sustainable choices on organizing regenerative events and activities (June 14).
Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) “Healthy Forests for Healthy People” webinar series on June 23 will feature lifestyle changes you can make, such as forest bathing.
In addition to learning events, EDC’s outdoor activities will help improve one’s general wellness by spending time in nature such as by bird watching, visiting the golden crowned flying fox roosting site and touring BINHI’s vegetative materials reproduction nurseries ( June 8 to 24), while FPH-First Gen will facilitate a virtual race for climate action ( June 28).
for EDC’s webinars.
Fun in the sun: A climate act
At the turn of the 21st century, OML was already cognizant of the devastating effects of climate change and steering business decisions with this in mind. Concerned that very little research was being done on the problem, he established a research-based center that would produce and encourage the generation of knowledge to inform decision-making and action.
Now, the climate issue is no longer simply a scientist’s pursuit. First Gen’s “RegeneRace to Kapamilyarization” ( June 15) will onboard employees on the business of power generation and clean energy advocacies through a tour of its First Gen Clean Energy Complex in Batangas City. After the tour, participants will undergo a regenerative-themed adventure race featuring collaborative challenges with climate change concepts. In culmination, challengers will participate in a mangrove planting in Lobo, Batangas ( June 16).
or register your donations at https://bit.ly/EVplasticdonations.
First Balfour also joins the climate action bandwagon with their #HakotHuwebes series on June 8, 15 and 22. First Balfour employees can turn over the plastic wastes they collected from their households to the collection point of The Plastic Flamingo all Thursdays of June.
OML and trees—that is a love affair if there ever was one.
The entire month is peppered with tree-planting activities. Throughout the month, you can plant trees virtually with EDC’s “CommuniTree” campaign to restore the Philippine teak in Batangas, while EDC employees will have a special tree planting at the restoration site of the endangered Philippine teak in Lobo, Batangas on June 30.
To celebrate Arbor Day, a Lopez Group-wide multisite tree-planting activity will happen on June 24: EDC takes the lead for a small contingent at the UP-EDC BINHI Biodiversity Hub and Antipolo BINHI nursery, while AFI (supported by First Balfour and Lopez Group Foundation Inc.) will engage a bigger crowd at La Mesa Watershed, with options for hike and bike or forest bathing activities. First Balfour will also be holding a simultaneous tree planting activity across all its projects located as far north as Burgos, Ilocos Norte to down south in Kidapawan City, Cotabato.
) of La Mesa Watershed today!
This festival hopes to showcase the environmental renaissance that is happening in the Lopez Group and the different forms that business and environment can take when brought together, limited only by the imagination of the Group’s members. It is a hallmark of the Lopez Group, and even through its permutations, innovating is part of that hallmark.
We all hearken back to OML, who said: “Above all, we are stewards of our businesses and our businesses are, in turn, stewards of the environment in which they operate and prosper… we must, at all times, act responsibly, prudently, avoid wasting any resources and ensure that the environment in which we operate remains intact and healthy in order that our businesses can remain sustainable.”
Lopez Envi Month officially kicked off on June 8 as Lopez Holdings celebrated its 30th anniversary. All activities shall carry the badge on the upper left side of this spread, so check out your organization’s website and social media accounts as more information rolls out in the days to come. Expect more activities to spring up as the month of June goes on.
OML, wife Connie R. Lopez and son Jay R. Lopez with the Lifelong Wellness team at a Walk the Talk in 2011
The Lopezes, including Cedie Lopez Vargas and Angela Lopez, with Rockwell’s Nestor J. Padilla and members of the BINHI team
Lopez Group celebrates 9 lives of OML’s environmental legacy
Lopez Group employees take part in a tree-planting exercise in La Mesa Nature Reserve on Arbor Day 2022