MPIC features global ESG experts in first group Sustainability Summit

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) assembled an impressive line-up of global environmental, social and governance experts in their first-ever Group Sustainability Summit held virtually last August 6. The summit was attended by over 300 participants composed of MPIC’s and MVP Group Companies’ Board of Directors and Senior Management as well assustainability champions across all of MPIC’s businesses.

Staying true to MPIC’s commitment to elevate its sustainability initiatives across the group, the summit was designed to bring key issues such as climate change, sustainability reporting standards, investor expectations and emerging global trends, among others, at the forefront of senior management’s agenda.

“Sustainability is the hot topic today and we all know that climate risk has steadily risen in our risk management boards. However, most of us will probably want to have a fuller understanding of what sustainability means and how it may impact the way we manage our companies,” said MPIC President and CEO Jose Ma. K. Lim as he opened the Summit. “I think the more interesting parts are the discussions on sustainable financing options and the changing expectations of shareholders and investors from management of their investing companies. I hope all the attendees find the topics stimulating and helpful in our journey towards a truly sustainable business model for each of our companies and for our country.”

“The group has a very strong social ethic beyond our traditional role of providing goods and services for a profit. The major metric by which our success should be measured is how well we uplift the lives of our people,” said MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan. “I think we have the ability to push the sustainability agenda ahead of other corporates in this country. I’m glad that this summit sends an affirmative but resounding message that it is time to really be serious about these sustainability programs within our group and within the business community in general in the Philippines.”

Aligning with global best practices in sustainability begins with ensuring that decision-makers are kept abreast with recent developments and trends. To achieve this goal, MPIC purposely partnered with established institutions who graciously shared their insights during the summit.

Neil Stewart, Director of Corporate Outreach at the Value Reporting Foundation, spoke about the importance of global reporting standards and how the merging of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is a major step in driving the global alignment of reporting standards.

EY Leader for Climate Change and Sustainability Services and Oceania Chief Sustainability Officer Mathew Nelson stressed the importance of going beyond compliance as he discussed EY’s Global Climate Risk Disclosure Barometer.

Brendan Baker, Vice President, and ESG Climate Specialist at MSCI, discussed the value of forward-looking, return-based quantification of climate change risks.

BSR Vice President for Asia-Pacific Jeremy Prepscius led the panel on “Transformation to Net Zero” with co-panelists Melissa Brown, Partner at Daobridge Capital and the Director for Group Sustainability of an established player in the power industry in Asia.

Speakers from S&P Global’s Sustainable1, Michael Salvatico, Head of Asia Pacific ESG Business Development, and Bertrand Jabouley, Head of Sustainable Finance, Asia-Pacific, covered global emerging ESG trends and sustainable financing options.

MPIC Investors M&G Investments represented by Ben Constable-Maxwell, Head of Impact Investing, and Michael Bourke, Head of Global Emerging Markets and Fund Manager commended the group’s impressive metrics in human capital excellence as well as its efforts as a strategic partner of the government in helping improve lives in the Philippines. They also shared their expectations on environmental, social and governance matters from their investee companies.

Yayu Javier, United Nations Global Compact Network Philippines (UNGCP) Chairperson highlighted key sustainability areas of focus where MPIC and UNCGCP can jointly make meaningful contributions in.

The afternoon sessions included a discussion on sustainability reporting trends in the Philippines by SGV & Co Business Consulting Partner Joseph Ian Canlas. Finally, Business for Sustainable Development’s Executive Director Bonar Laureto took the group into a deep dive into the materiality assessment and strategy development process.

Hosted by Atty. Mike Toledo, MPIC Vice President for Government Relations, the summit also featured MPIC Group Sustainability Council Champions who capped each session with their key take-aways.

MPIC Chief Finance Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer Chaye A. Cabal-Revilla who has taken on the challenge of driving the group’s Sustainability strategy said, “We cannot operate our businesses with just profit in mind. More importantly, we have to be driven by purpose – we can always do good while doing well. We have put Sustainability at the heart of MPIC to future-proof not just our business but our existence as humanity. We all have to work together. Adhering to global sustainability reporting standards and integrating sustainability into our DNA and everything that we do is really key into making it pervasive and successful. This also means that everybody has to help out.”

Indeed, everyone has a role to play in ensuring that the generations to come can also benefit from nature’s gifts. MPIC is fully embracing its role, not just through the provision of essential services, but also as a driver of positive change. As a leading infrastructure investment company, MPIC is committed to contributing to the achievement of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with SDG #9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure as its anchor.

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