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Meralco leads the way toward sustainable energy future

By NICOLE TENGCO Published Apr 23, 2024 12:01 pm

The challenges brought about by climate change have become more palpable than ever worldwide. While each has a role to play in providing solutions, the energy industry, in particular, plays a vital role in combating climate change by transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

Recent studies have highlighted the risks posed by climate change in the Philippines, emphasizing the urgency for action from various sectors, with the energy industry as the lead.

Meralco's greener strides as key energy industry player

As the largest electric distribution utility in the Philippines, Meralco recognizes its responsibility to drive and promote sustainability. The company recently announced a significant investment of over P100 billion to fund important sustainability initiatives through 2030.

"With sustainability deeply embedded in Meralco's operations and long-term plans, we are proud to commit over P100 billion in capital expenditures to initiatives that not only enhance our infrastructure but also align with the government's vision for a sustainable future," Meralco Executive Vice President and COO Ronnie Aperocho said.

The investment will fund projects geared towards improving Meralco’s distribution network to make it smarter and more resilient in the face of extreme climate threats. These include enhancing grid reliability, reducing system loss, and transitioning to natural ester oil for distribution transformers.

It will also cover energy efficiency solutions and the expansion of electric vehicle fleets and infrastructure.

Meralco aims to accelerate its transition to green energy by leveraging next-generation technologies, such as nuclear energy and battery energy storage systems, with one end goal in mind—a society made for the greater good of all.

Support to the government and community development
(From left to right) CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert Borje, Meralco Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ronnie Aperocho, Meralco First Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Raymond Ravelo, Meralco Vice President and Head of Facilities, Safety, and Safety Management Jerry Lao, and CCC Executive Assistant Raul Villegas.

To further its commitment to sustainability, Meralco recently held a dialogue with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) of the Philippines to bolster the country's transition towards a greener future.

“As one of the largest players in the power industry here in the country, we are conscious of the impact of our business to the environment and we are one with the government in mitigating the risk of global warming attributed to carbon emissions and other chemicals produced during power generation and distribution,” Aperocho said.

The One For Trees program of One Meralco Foundation aims to help preserve Philippine forests through agroforestry and reforestation.

In the realm of environmental preservation and protection, Meralco also plays an active role through the One For Trees agroforestry program, which is spearheaded by the One Meralco Foundation (OMF). Through the program, Meralco aims to contribute to the preservation of Philippine forests while providing sustainable income opportunities for local communities.

OMF, as of the end of 2023, has already planted and nurtured over 2 million trees across 35 reforestation sites in the country to the direct benefit of over 2,000 tree farmers and their families who maintain these sites.

Award-winning efforts

Meralco's sustainability initiatives have gained recognition both locally and globally. The company has been honored with international awards for its commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Last October 2023, Meralco walked away with an impressive tally of eight Stevie Awards, split evenly between the Gold and Bronze categories. These awards are in recognition of the company's innovative programs in the fields of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Meralco's sustainability performance has also been consistently recognized by global sustainability index providers such as the FTSE4Good Index series, specifically the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and the FTSE4Good ASEAN 5 Index. These are a set of metrics to improve ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) practices.

Meralco's dedication and proactive approach to addressing climate change through various initiatives demonstrate its leadership in the energy industry. By investing in clean energy and embracing sustainability practices, Meralco is leading the way toward a greener and more sustainable future for the Philippines.

“This year, we expect to move forward with our long-term goal of achieving sustainable energy security through our investments in utility-scale power generation projects, including exploring the possible adoption of nuclear energy in the country,” Meralco Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

“Our mission in Meralco goes beyond delivering innovative products and quality services to Filipino consumers. Our strategic expansion and social development initiatives have always been anchored on our firm commitment to create additional and transformative value to our stakeholders, power the country’s economic progress, and contribute further to the advancement of the Government’s socio-economic agenda" he added.


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