Working Towards Climate Solutions with Emphasis on Equity

November 24, 2023 Friday

MUTUALLY REINFORCING ROLES. Industry leaders and policy experts convene at a roundtable discussion that centers on climate solutions, equity, and building a resilient, low-carbon society. They emphasize metrics for emission reduction goals, underscoring the interconnectedness of sustainability, profitability, and societal well-being.

QUEZON CITY, 24 November 2023 – In a groundbreaking event, prominent business leaders and policy experts gathered yesterday to discuss ambitious corporate climate action, emphasizing pro-poor and gender-sensitive solutions. The event featured distinguished speakers and panelists.

"This is a historic event to include business leaders in the commitment to transform the country into a resilient, low-carbon society," said Secretary Robert E.A. Borje of the Climate Change Commission. “It's crucial to scale up and deliver in a predictable manner, considering the moral imperative at stake—the lives, livelihoods, and future of our people,” he added.

The discussion, moderated by Ms. Ping Manongdo, Southeast Asia Partnerships Manager and Philippines Country Head at Eco-Business, revolved around the mutually reinforcing roles of both government and the private sector in achieving verifiable emission reduction goals.

Mr. Jaime Urquijo, Chief Sustainability Officer and Risk Officer at Ayala Corporation, highlighted the importance of metrics and baselining. "We identify our baseline emissions on a yearly basis, and we are fortunate to have a net-zero commitment and a visionary leader in the person of the CEO of Ayala Corporation," he shared.

Ms. Chaye Cabal Revilla, CFO and Chief Sustainability Officer at Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, emphasized, "Baselining and measurement are crucial. We had to set the tone from the top, formalize sustainability committees, and take stock of our strategy. We want to be net negative and fortify our environmental stewardship plans."

“As leaders, you cannot be sustainable as an organization if you, as an individual, do not buy it. As a woman leader, we also try to influence women’s organizations to push for sustainable practices,” she added. 

Ms. Leah Marie Ayeng, General Manager of Prestige Paper Products, underscored that investing in more sustainable products will not only contribute to accelerating climate consciousness but also enhance the viability of enterprises. “I believe that a responsible business is also a profitable business.” 

Mr. Ted Monroy, Country Representative, United Nations Industrial Development Organization Country Office Philippines, explained, "Climate change affected typhoon pathways in Mindanao. If there's no energy, there's no development. We focus on renewable energy and supporting local development."

Mr. Horia Adrian, President and CEO of Holcim Philippines Inc., issued a warning: "We will consume 2.5 planets by 2030 if we continue like this. Sustainability is very tangible because it affects the entire world."

"People should feel sustainability in their heart. God gives you, but God does not put it in your pocket. We can provide the solution, but the solution has to be used,"  he emphasized.

During the Q&A session, the speakers addressed queries ranging from advertising strategies focused on sustainability to convincing SMEs to adopt environmentally friendly practices. "Advertising is expensive but cheap talk. We design, build, and operate our business with the least environmental destruction. It's more costly, but it's in our DNA," stated Ms. Revilla when asked about advertising sustainability.
“We just need to be a lot more creative in unlocking value,” said Mr. Urquijo. 
In closing remarks, Secretary Borje emphasized, "There is no business on a dead planet. The bottom line is connected to sustainability and profitability. That is the paradigm shift we need to encourage. The government needs to craft policies to support these."

“What we need to do is scan the horizon and give it a climate change lens. We are learning that climate change is the governance challenge of our generation,” he added.

The panelists unanimously agreed on the interconnectedness of sustainability, profitability, and societal well-being. The event concluded with a call for collective business action, acknowledging the crucial role of corporates in driving an ambitious path towards a resilient and sustainable future.

For updates on the CCC Week commemoration visit the Climate Change Commission’s website at and