Globe, Ayala, Singtel underscore importance of sustainability in business operations

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The urgent need to combat climate change and provide equal access to opportunities and resources for the marginalized population has pushed sustainability to the forefront of business operations.

Globe and its major shareholders, Ayala Corporation and Singtel, have made environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) a vital part of their strategies, policies, and programs.

Leaders of the three companies talked about sustainability and its importance during a recent rare fireside chat, “The Purposeful CEOs,” featuring the leaders of the three companies, moderated by Globe Group President and CEO Ernest Cu, with Globe’s top leaders present.

“I’ve always been a great believer in the corporation having a greater role in our society. It’s been a fundamental belief of mine from way back before it became fashionable,” said Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of the Ayala Corporation.

He placed emphasis on inclusive governance, where Globe has been a significant part.  Globe, through its suite of digital solutions, makes the needs of the broader segment of society relevant and helps bring the underserved into the formal economy.

“That, I’ve always noticed, has been a great strength of Globe. And of course, using this new trend and digitalization to access and give products and services at a whole different level,” Zobel de Ayala said.

As a huge chunk of its customers are from the C and D markets, particularly in its prepaid mobile segment, Globe has made it a mission to uplift Filipinos.

“We are truly dependent on the masses. It’s incumbent upon us to create and craft a product that’s reachable by the masses,” Cu said.

For instance, he said, fiber broadband cannot be a product for the rich. It is something that Globe wants to transform into a product for all since everyone deserves high-speed and reliable connectivity.

Globe also provides financial services such as savings, insurance, investment, and lending to the unbanked through GCash, which has emerged as the leading e-wallet service in the country today.  At the same time, it democratized access to healthcare through telehealth provider KonsultaMD.

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Globe Group President and CEO Ernest Cu

Globe’s efforts to be relevant to Filipinos at the lower income levels is a reflection of the values that the whole Ayala Group holds dear, as it aspires to make economic growth as relevant as possible to different marginal sectors.

Aside from inclusion, the Ayala Group is big on its advocacy to fight climate change and holds itself to the highest standards. The corporation is looking to develop nature-based solutions that can carbon capture massive amounts of terrain. In 2021, the group announced its commitment to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Ayala Group remains aligned with the global movement on climate action to help secure the country’s future from the threats brought by climate change.

On the governance side, the Ayala group keeps raising the bar all the time through constantly seeking partnerships with like-minded corporations and business leaders.

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Singtel Group CEO Yen Kuan Moon

Meanwhile, Yen Kuan Moon, Singtel Group CEO, pointed out that sustainability is not just about the environment but also about diversity, equity, inclusion, and business sustainability.

“I think this is the most important investment, for this generation to understand this. It’s not just for your company, for your work, but for yourself, and the future.  Sustainability and people are equally important to the business,” he said.

He added that being net zero and carbon neutral should be common knowledge now among employees. One must know the difference and be comfortable with how companies measure themselves in these new metrics and their contributions to the global market.