by INQUIRER.net BrandRoom | Inquirer.net
Sustainability has become a mainstream concept in recent years with companies from various industries adopting it to their core practice. However, not all sustainability measures are equal or can effectively undo decades of damage. One company, however, has been continuously practicing and pioneering sustainable practices for over 40 years.
Filipino company Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a global and diverse renewable energy company and is the largest 100-percent renewable energy company in the country, operating 1,181 MW of geothermal, 150 MW of wind, 132 MW of hydroelectric power, and 12 MW of solar energies for a total of 1,475 MW of clean and renewable energy. As of 2018, it had generated total energy sales of 8,945.3 GWh while avoiding 7,782,411 tons CO2e (based on EDC’s 0.1 ton CO 2 /MWh intensity).
Since its establishment in 1976, EDC has been generating geothermal energy or what it refers to as Geo 24/7 — the only form of renewable energy (RE) that provides reliable baseload or 24/7 power — and has put the Philippines on the map as the world’s 3rd biggest geothermal producer. Sustainability has been at the heart of EDC’s Geo 24/7 and even in how it harnesses other forms of RE as it implements environmental and social programs across all of their business units, not only to enhance the natural ecosystem but also to uplift the lives of the members of its host communities.
EDC only invests in low-carbon RE solutions to encourage consumers to make sustainable choices and to ensure that future generations can still enjoy and benefit from their natural heritage.
In its pursuit to lessen the carbon footprint of its business operations, EDC has achieved the status of a carbon negative company and is one of the few companies to have achieved this. A carbon negative entity absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits. This is achieved by generating green energy like geothermal, improving their energy efficiency, and through greening programs that contribute to greater carbon sequestration.
Through BINHI, EDC’s flagship greening legacy program, the company has been restoring denuded forests, propagating threatened native tree species and protecting biodiversity for over 10 years. At least 6.3 million seedlings were planted, with 9,196 hectares of denuded forests restored inside geothermal reservations and watershed areas in partnership with its 88 forest communities in restoration projects. EDC likewise brings back to abundance its 96 premium endangered Philippine tree species with the help of its 177 partners in 16 regions.
The positive impact that BINHI has accomplished is made possible with the cultivation of strong partnerships with local communities, the academe, government agencies, and private institutions. It provides opportunities for stakeholders to participate in reforestation and biodiversity enhancement efforts. Through its livelihood programs, BINHI has also empowered forest and farmer communities in terms of food security and income generation. As part of EDC’s environmental advocacy, BINHI seeks to encourage more people to join the conversation about climate change and the environment.
Given the magnitude of its nationwide operations, EDC is aware that they are part of a bigger society and share the same environmental resources with the community it operates, grows and thrives on. It is part of EDC’s policy to contribute to the local economy. In 2018, the company awarded more than P33 million worth of small- and large-scale contracts to cooperatives and community associations. By employing local suppliers and contractors, they will continue to boost the local economy and help create growth opportunities for local businesses.
EDC has proven that going beyond sustainability, beyond compliance, beyond profit is possible with Geo 24/7. As one of the world’s geothermal technology pioneers and the country’s leader in renewable energy generation, EDC will continue to power infinite possibilities for more Filipinos as it envisions a world powered by clean energy.
After all, shifting to renewable energy like Geo 24/7 is the only way to achieve a sustainable world for current and for future generations.