Paper makes our company go round. On it we print stories, photos, page layout designs and our finished product, the Manila Standard newspaper. It is scattered in every corner of our office and piles up on our tables.
Thus it only seems appropriate that a company whose finished product is made of paper is committed to planting trees as its corporate social responsibility (CSR) project.
Planting for a greener future
Initiated by Circulation department head Edgar Valmorida, Manila Standard’s “Adopt a Tree” project kicked off at Ipo Dam Watershed in Norzagaray, Bulacan on November 28, 2009.
“I first introduced the idea of planting a tree for every new subscriber that will subscribe to then Manila Standard Today,” said Valmorida in recollection, adding, “When I and former Advertising Manager Gina Versoza presented the idea to then President and CEO Rogelio Salazar, he approved it and made it our CSR project.”
Manila Standard employees actively took part in the first leg of the one-day tree planting activity, which was then followed by planting events at Halamanang Pilipino in Luneta Park, Manila; Paco Park and Pook ni Mariang Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna; Marikina Riverbanks in Marikina City in 2010 as part of the government’s rehabilitation program following the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy that crippled the city; and again at the 1.5-hectare land at Ipo Dam for another batch of tree seedlings.
“Adopt a Tree” project’s sixth and latest sowing which happened on July 23, 2016 brought Advertising, Circulation, Editorial, Finance, Human Resources, MIS, Production and Purchasing departments back to Ipo Dam Watershed in Brgy. San Mateo for the third time.
Previously a lush range, the watershed has been denuded due to illegal poachers, according to Celia Esteban of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Bulacan. But Manila Standard, together with other companies, are working together to help the area return to its original, healthy state.
With the help of several public and private organizations and corporations, the newspaper was able to mount its sixth tree planting activities. And in gratitude for their support, seedlings were planted under the advertisers and subscribers’s respective names.
Manila Standard Publisher Rolando Estabillo expressed pride in the company’s endeavor. “You will see however small it is, this symbolizes the importance of public and private cooperation. It doesn’t have to be a big project, it’s the sincerity and consistency [that count],” he enthused.
“With (this project) now on its sixth sowing, you can see that we are really consistent in our effort to help preserve Mother Nature,” added Estabillo.
In an article in Business News Daily, it stated that “businesses regardless of size have a large carbon footprint. Any steps they can take to reduce those footprints are considered both good for the company and the society as a whole.”
Not only is Manila Standard replacing, so to speak, the paper it is using by planting trees, but is also working on reducing its other negative environmental impacts through its nature-focused CSR project.
Bonding for stronger relationship
On top of helping conserve and protect the environment and lessen the effects of climate change, both Estabillo and Valmorida recognize the importance of the tree planting activity in fostering stronger relationship among Manila Standard employees.
“This is a way to bond and at the same time to give back to the community that supports Manila Standard. This project is not only for the present but also for the future,” said Estabillo.
Valmorida, for his part, said the affair is a chance for the staff to be together in doing something that benefits the environment.
“Not only are we promoting camaraderie among our employees, we are also giving them the privilege of contributing something good to the future of our country,” he said.
With the positive impact and development “Adopt a Tree” has brought to the environment and to the Manila Standard family, Valmorida said they intend to continue with the project in the coming years.
“We have a plan to adopt an area in Antipolo City. Or opt to plant in other areas which our contacts in DENR Central Office might offer. Or, perhaps, we can do river or coastal cleanups or mangrove planting depending on what is permissible,” shared the Circulation chief.
Format and name changes, notwithstanding, Manila Standard, since its inception in February 1987, continues to uphold the highest standard in news reporting and information dissemination. And with its CSR initiative, the newspaper is making a real difference in the world, one paper and one tree at a time.