Home Spotlight Paving the way towards a more sustainable energy future

Paving the way towards a more sustainable energy future

Meralco aims to accelerate the implementation of its sustainability agenda in line with the country’s efforts to achieve a sustainable energy future.

Climate change is a complex and pressing issue that requires urgent attention and action on a global scale. Its impact is becoming increasingly evident worldwide, with rising sea levels, more frequent extreme weather incidents, diminishing biodiversity, and rise in food insecurity.

In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that without immediate action, the planet is on track for a catastrophic 2.7-degree-Celsius increase in global temperatures by year 2100.

The energy industry is among those at the forefront of addressing climate change as it is both a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and has great potential in significantly reducing emissions through various strategies.

Here in the Philippines, power utility Meralco is making significant investments in critical projects to improve sustainability in its operations. The company recently announced a significant investment of over P100 billion through 2030 to fund initiatives that will accelerate the implementation of its sustainability agenda.

“With sustainability deeply embedded in Meralco’s operations and long-term plans, we are proud to commit over P100 billion in capital expenditures to initiatives that not only enhance our infrastructure but also align with the government’s vision for a sustainable future,” Meralco Executive Vice-President and COO Ronnie L. Aperocho said.

Part of the capital injection will be used for critical projects aimed at making Meralco’s distribution network smarter and more resilient in the face of climate change by enhancing grid reliability, reducing system loss, and transitioning to natural ester oil for distribution transformers.

In addition, the investment will also cover the company’s transition to renewable and sustainable energy.

Meralco is taking a step forward in its renewable energy efforts by investing P15.9 billion in SP New Energy Corp. (SPNEC) through MGen Renewable Energy, Inc. (MGreen), a wholly owned subsidiary of Meralco PowerGen Corp.

This investment is part of Meralco’s commitment to secure 1,500 MW of renewable energy supply contracts and develop 1,500 MW of attributable green energy generation capacity.

“Core to our long-term sustainability strategy are twin commitments to secure 1,500 MW of renewable energy supply contracts and to develop 1,500 MW of attributable green energy generation capacity. This underscores our dedication to our low-carbon transition and to serving the country’s growing energy demand with clean power,” Meralco First Vice-President and Chief Sustainability Officer Raymond B. Ravelo said.

These initiatives are expected to contribute significantly to the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and transition towards a more sustainable future.

Seen in the photo are (from L-R) CCC Vice-Chairperson and Executive Director Director Robert E.A. Borje, Meralco Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Ronnie L. Aperocho, Meralco First Vice-President and Chief Sustainability Officer Raymond B. Ravelo, Meralco Vice-President and Head of Facilities, Safety, and Safety Management Jerry B. Lao, and CCC Executive Assistant Raul Villegas.

The company also recently engaged in a dialogue with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) Philippines to further its commitment to sustainability and strengthen the country’s transition towards a greener future.

During the dialogue with the CCC, Meralco executives emphasized the company’s commitment to mitigating the risks associated with global warming and carbon emissions by promote renewable energy sources, reduce system losses, and transition to natural ester oil for distribution transformers.

Meralco showcased its distribution utility’s electric vehicles (EVs) and charging stations, along with its digital twin laboratory, the Powertech Innovation and eXperience Lab (PIXL).

A member of people’s organization Kaanib ng mga Mangingisda at Magsasaka ng Numancia (KAMAMANA) plants a mangrove propagule in Del Carmen, Siargao during a tree-planting activity sponsored by One Meralco Foundation.

Furthermore, One Meralco Foundation (OMF), Meralco’s social development arm, has been at the forefront of environmental conservation through its One for Trees (OFT) program. This initiative focuses on reforestation efforts that not only contribute to preserving the environment but also provide livelihood opportunities to local communities across the Philippines.

OMF, in collaboration with the local government of Del Carmen in Siargao and the organization Kaanib ng mga Mangingisda at Magsasaka ng Numancia (KAMAMANA), planted and nurtured 125,000 native mangroves in the Surigao del Norte province. The project aimed to highlight the significant role wetlands play in the fight against climate change. This includes the Del Carmen Mangrove Forest Reserve, which spans over 4,800 hectares and serves as a crucial habitat for various species while offering essential resources to the local residents.

Moreover, OMF’s commitment to environmental sustainability extends beyond mangrove reforestation. In the Laguna-Quezon Land Grant (LQLG), a 6,765-hectare forest land within the Sierra Madre mountain range, OMF and its partners planted 100,000 native trees, furthering their efforts to combat deforestation and promote sustainable practices in the region.

As of end-2023, OMF has nurtured around 2.3 million trees across 35 reforestation sites in the country — directly benefitting over 2,000 tree farmers and their families.

In addition, Meralco has been making waves on the global stage for its programs centered on sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

In 2023, Meralco bagged a total of eight Stevies — four Gold and four Bronze awards — at the International Business Awards (IBA) in Rome, Italy, for its dedication to embedding sustainability at the core of its strategy and operations.

Meralco was also the sole recipient of the Gold Stevie under the “Sustainability Leadership Award in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand” category, recognizing the company’s commitment to sustainability and its leadership in the region.

Mr. Ravelo was named “Sustainability Hero of the Year in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand” for his leadership in the company’s sustainability agenda.

Meanwhile, Meralco Vice-President and Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Jeffrey O. Tarayao, who is also the President of OMF, was named “Thought Leader of the Year” for his innovative approaches to CSR and sustainable development programs.

Meralco’s sustainability agenda, “Powering the Good Life” was established in 2019, and is deeply rooted in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and is supported by four pillars: Power, Planet, People, and Prosperity.

“As we pursue our decarbonization strategies, we envision a thriving society with access to education, clean water, quality healthcare, dignified livelihoods, and disaster preparedness — all in alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” Meralco Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

 


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