Business can play an important role in creating social good. While its capacity to generate economic value is significant, it can also serve as an agent of social transformation.
Because business does not exist in a vacuum, business needs to create value that can be shared with the markets it serves and the communities in which it operates. As business improves, lives should also improve; what’s good for the community should be good for business, and vice versa.
Ayala Corporation believes in business’s potential to make an impact in the lives of people and communities. “At the Ayala group, we have always believed that in a developing economy like ours, businesses play an indispensable role in addressing some of the most pressing development challenges,” said Ayala Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala. “To remain relevant, to continue building trust with communities, businesses must contribute to society as a whole, and ensure the progressive development of the markets they serve.”
Business and social responsibility
Over 185 years, Ayala has made significant headway in integrating social and environmental needs into its corporate strategies. It has pioneered sustainability reporting in the country, making sure that it tracks its impact in the economic, social, and environmental spheres, while also contributing to the improvement of each. Its commitment to transparency and accountability is also apparent in its governance and its overall approach to conducting business.
Ayala is also a leader in corporate social responsibility. Through Ayala Foundation, the group’s social development arm, it has helped improve the lives of people and communities, through programs in education, community leadership, suitable and sustainable livelihood, and arts and culture. To realize its vision of “communities where people are productive, creative, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipino,” it has worked closely with partners from within the conglomerate, with various communities, and with stakeholders that span the country.
Each of Ayala’s business units also actively contributes to various social and environmental causes, whether through its day-to-day business operations or through partnerships with various like-minded individuals and organizations, in the public and private sectors.
Ayala is also a 50,000-plus-strong organization. Its human resources also contribute to positive change in their respective spheres of influence, representing a great force for community transformation.
Community for Social Impact
While each of the above brings about improvements in various areas, the Ayala group also believes in consolidating its diverse strengths and initiatives for greater impact. This is why Ayala citizens are now coming together to harness its wide-ranging strengths, resources, capabilities, and talents to form a community that celebrates unique capabilities and programs while joining hands to create social impact. Serving communities is best done together, so to speak.
In a simple yet meaningful ceremony held at the Ayala Museum in November 2018, the Ayala Community for Social Impact (Ayala CSI) unveiled its vision to work for “a better and more sustainable world by creating shared value through partnerships with communities and families we serve.” The group also committed to the mission that they will “harness Ayala’s diverse strengths, resources, capabilities, and talents in engaging businesses and communities for opportunities to solve problems and help make better and sustainable world.”
Ayala CSI identified four focus areas—Education and Scholarships, Environment, Entrepreneurship and Livelihood, and Health. They also identified the following key enablers to bring about relevant social impact: Technology, Communication and Branding, Volunteerism, Capacity-Building and Development, Measurement and Evaluation/ Data Analytics. Serving as champions for Ayala CSI are Ayala Foundation and AC Synergy while working closely with the different business units within the Ayala group.
“We are not only community movers, but community lovers who truly desire to help bridge the needs gap in communities that we serve,” said Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan, as he described the organizational framework of Ayala CSI.
For his part, Ayala Corporation Chief Human Resources Officer, Managing Director and Head of the Corporate Resources Group, JP Orbeta said, “We are also community shakers as we try to disrupt the status quo to be able to create social impact in our focus areas.”
Said JAZA: “Through Ayala CSI, we can strengthen partnerships and collaboration across our various social development programs in the group. By working together, we can scale up our efforts faster and ensure they produce measurable results. I’m excited to see this initiative come to fruition and deepen our culture of social engagement and collaboration among our people.”