FEDERICO R. Lopez, the chairman of First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH), has called on companies to go beyond sustainability by converting into “regenerative forces” to ensure the safety of the planet.

He made the statement during his virtual acceptance speech on Monday when he was named “Management Man of the Year 2020.” His call is in light of the accelerating climate crisis, and the recent onslaught of typhoons that battered the country in their wake.

“There is an urgency for all of us to go beyond incremental sustainability and transform into regenerative forces that align our profit engines with the need for a better, more just world and a safer planet,” Mr. Lopez said.

He said that this was already happening at FPH and its group of companies, as they lived by the company mission: “To forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.”

He said the mission was “deliberated on and hotly debated internally for months.”

“But it goes beyond energy and anticipates dealing with the many adaptive challenges needed to redesign how we live, work, and do business in a changed world,” he said.

Mr. Lopez said FPH and its group of companies chose to do away with the word “sustainability” because this did not apply anymore in a world that sorely needed healing and renewal.

“So we took on the challenge of using the word “regenerative” instead, with all the responsibility it carries,” he said.

“We are not a full-on regenerative company today; no one is yet. But we chose it deliberately to signal to our people that they have a license to adopt this new mindset as our inherent way of doing business and that it’s okay for them to ‘bring their values to work’ every day,” he added.

During his acceptance speech, Mr. Lopez said that he was blessed to have witnessed FPH group’s notable moments. Some of these include: the birth of the Philippine natural gas industry with the Malampaya discovery, the privatization and deregularization of the country’s power industry, and the firming of the company’s “no-to-coal” declaration in 2016.

The Management Man of the Year award, conferred by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), has been awarded to 44 individuals in its five-decade history. — Angelica Y. Yang