EDC deputy COO Jerome Cainglet (rightmost) with (l-r) NZCA executive director and EDC corporate relations and communications head Atty. Allan Barcena, First Philippine Holdings Corporation chief sustainability officer Agnes de Jesus and NZCA event host Danie Laurel of One NewsNet Zero Carbon Alliance (NZCA), a pioneering multisectoral consortium seeking to achieve collective carbon neutrality beginning in the Philippine private sector, reconvened on its first anniversary and bared its strategic framework toward its goal.
NZCA’s conceptual framework is largely based on the proven approach of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) that is centered around two key aspects of climate change mitigation: avoiding and reducing emissions as much as possible, and offsetting those that can no longer be reduced as a last option.
“EDC’s emergence as the only carbon-negative Filipino enterprise, by way of our purely renewable geothermal operations coupled with our flagship BINHI forest restoration program, serves as proof that effective climate action is indeed possible and attainable,” said EDC deputy chief operating officer Jerome Cainglet.
Established by EDC
NZCA was conceived and established by EDC in 2021 to encourage and support as many Philippine enterprises as possible to commit to attaining net-zero greenhouse gas emissions or carbon neutrality by 2050. This is in line with the Philippine government’s nationally determined contribution to the COP 21 Paris climate change agreement to reduce emissions by as much as 75% by 2030. In the historic meet, experts warned to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent irreversible negative impact on the planet.
NZCA is also EDC’s response to its renewed mission under the Lopez Group to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future, being the full renewable energy (RE) subsidiary of First Gen Corporation.
In terms of avoiding emissions, the NZCA framework highlights RE options as the primary strategy, along with energy efficiency and conservation, reduced reliance on fossil fuels in general, and organizational lifestyle and operational changes such as reducing food waste, telecommuting, smarter mobility and many others. Offsetting emissions, meanwhile, is effectively obtained through forest protection, conservation and restoration. Potential for carbon sequestration in agriculture and food production has also been found through methods such as organic farming.
“Our first year was a learning period for all of us as we worked together, coming from different levels of readiness and climate action in our respective companies, but united in a journey to contribute to our country’s overall climate response,” Cainglet said.
NZCA’s pioneer partners are ARTHALAND, First Balfour, sustainability communications agency Drink, Silliman University and the local offices of multinational firms Knowles Electronics and Unilever.
This year, NZCA welcomed six new partners: Converge ICT Solutions Inc., Ecolab, INAEC Aviation Corporation, Menarco Development Corporation, SGV & Co. and The Linden Suites.
“We are extending our support as we are also feeling a clamor and a growing desire from the private sector to be onboard for net-zero targets and to be active partners of the government in this transformation towards an upper middle income, climate-resilient country by 2050,” said commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera of the Climate Change Commission during the meet.
“We look forward not only to more partnerships and member companies joining the alliance in the coming years, but to the palpable results of the interventions we are laying in place today,” Cainglet concluded.
Visit netzerocarbonalliance.ph for more information. (Story/Photos by: Jolly Jamoralin)