An advocacy group championing environmental stewardship is calling on the national and local governments to follow the lead of the private sector in investing in digital technologies to achieve economic recovery and environmental sustainability.
Philippine Business for Environmental Sustainability convenor, Engr. Felix Vitangcol, said it is crucial to achieve environment-friendly operations and build resilience to extreme weather events caused by climate change.
“We only have to look at how the breakdown of power and telecommunication services hampered critical rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Odette in December,” Vitangcol said.
“If we fail to optimize digital technologies, we will only widen social divides and expose the most vulnerable among us to economic and environmental risks.”
He added that aside from crucial responses during and after calamities, digital technologies can enable industries to become greener by being efficient in waste and pollution management. This also translates to efficiency and competitiveness because of lower operating costs, allowing for growth, expansion, and more jobs.
The private sector has made great initiatives in this respect such as Globe’s ongoing shift to renewable energy to power their key facilities, Vitangcol said.
“The private sector has proven to be an instrumental partner to the government in this regard. It has visibly shifted capital funds toward tangible, measurable initiatives to this end. Through environmental, social and governance (ESG)-based interventions, they have shown their
capability to expand people’s access to education, proper and well-informed health-care, and immediate financial support.”
Sustainability values initiatives are now integrated into business cultures especially in big enterprises. “This is a sign that industry captains are putting their money where their mouth is, by committing substantial resources to long-term environmental concerns.”
It is crucial, however, that the government matches this commitment, especially since it is the government’s mandate to ensure that no one is left behind.
“For individuals, communities, and organizations alike, platforms and applications serve a purpose that furthers their objectives and improves their well-being. We now have a valuable tool to help us prepare for physical, social, and economic shocks when disasters strike,” the group said.