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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

99% of Filipino companies have established sustainability goals — Schneider Electric study

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In the Philippines, 99 percent of local business leaders have established goals to achieve net zero in their operations, results of the annual sustainability survey of Schneider Electric showed.

Global research firm Millieu Insight conducted the survey of Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management and digital automation.

Results showed that 60 percent of APAC’s business leaders feel that their company and country view sustainability as a “high priority.”

In terms of the industry’s perception on digital transformation, 94 percent of business leaders agree that electrification is key to their corporate sustainability strategy.

The survey engaged 4,500 C-level to Middle-level business leaders across nine countries in Southeast and East Asia, including the Philippines. 

“We are seeing a growing trajectory towards greater sustainability integration into our local industries’ operations. As a leader in sustainable energy management solutions, Schneider Electric is reaffirming its commitment to support the business industry and the government in their pursuit towards their shift to green energy,” said Ireen Catane, country president of Schneider Electric Philippines.

The Green Action Gap is a Schneider Electric-identified metric used to estimate the rift between the organizations’ declared commitment towards their sustainability goals and the tangible actions to implement sustainable development by companies. 

It revealed that while 99 percent of the surveyed leaders have established sustainability plans, only 58 percent have set their plans in action. The reasons captured include: poor incentives, regulations uncertainty, bureaucratic challenges, market data references insufficiencies and lack of business priority. While challenges persist, the gap serves as a rallying call for urgent efforts to bridge intentions with actions. 

Across the region, the top reasons reported for pursuing corporate sustainability were innovation and competitiveness (39 percent) and an increase in business opportunities (37 percent) with countries in Southeast Asia most likely to agree that sustainability contributes to business growth.  Risk management, reputation and opportunity for cost saving round out the top five motivating factors companies consider when making decisions around sustainability strategy. 

Most business leaders across the region (82 percent on average) believe that providing more incentives is more effective than enforcing penalties to encourage private sector compliance with government sustainability goals. 

“We are encouraged by the growing awareness and commitment among Asia’s companies to establish sustainability goals. However, the survey’s findings on the intention-action gap reveal that there is still work to be done. As we navigate the urgent need for sustainability, it becomes more crucial for businesses and the public sector to collaborate and leverage innovative solutions to create a more sustainable future,” Catane said.

To be on track for a net zero world in 2050, businesses need to reduce emissions by 50 percent this decade. At the recently concluded Philenergy Expo 2024, Schneider Electric introduced its global vision, Electricity 4.0, which shows how digitalization is the key to mitigate climate and energy crises. 

From the survey report, results show that 97 percent of Philippine companies agree/strongly agree that digitalization is a key sustainability driver. The same number also consider energy efficiency as a core aspect of their sustainability plan.

“Electricity is the cleanest and most visible form of energy. By building a smart electric world where everything is interconnected, people will have the ability to optimize safety, reliability, performance, and lifespan. All while working towards achieving our global carbon neutrality goal by 2050,” said Catane.

“With digitization, energy shifts from being the biggest driver of carbon emissions to the biggest opportunity for carbon reduction. We have the tools that we need to drive change. All we need to do is to work together to make that happen,” Catane added. 

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