Aboitiz re-elected to the United Nations Global Compact Network Philippines, leads Prosperity Pillar to empower MSMEs

The Aboitiz Group has been re-elected to the United Nations (UN) Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP) Board of Trustees to champion the nation’s value-driven, corporate sustainability initiatives on the international stage. Additionally, as the lead of the GCNP Prosperity Pillar, Aboitiz is prepared to rally the private sector towards technology- and innovation-driven synergies that empower the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to become sustainable and resilient.

With the shared belief that sustainability begins with a principles-driven approach to doing business, the GCNP provides a platform for like-minded organizations to promote and incorporate the Ten Principles. These Ten Principles, when enacted by responsible businesses, meet their fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.

PRINCIPLES-DRIVEN. Re-elected to the Board as Trustee, a member of the Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP), and Lead for the Prosperity Pillar, the Aboitiz Group is focused on the collective goal of transforming MSMEs to become competitive, resilient, sustainable, and future-ready.

“Our continued support to the UN GCNP aims to inspire and promote collaboration, primarily among business corporations with support from the government, academe, and NGOs so that companies may practice the Ten Principles and a wider scope of programs to address the Philippines’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and better recover from the impacts of the pandemic,” said Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sabin M. Aboitiz.

It was on Tuesday, March 7, that Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) First Vice President and Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer Ginggay Hontiveros was re-elected to the GCNP Board.

Hontiveros is one of the three members elected during the 6th General Assembly to the GCNP Board. She sits alongside the similarly re-elected International Care Ministries Foundation Director Dennis Montecillo and the newly elected Bayo Manila Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anna Lagon. Vickie Tan of Ayala Group serves as Chairperson of the GCNP Board. Their election ensures the continued advance of a sustainable and globally competitive Filipino business community.

Overseeing the Aboitiz Group’s sustainability agenda, Hontiveros brings to the GCNP Board intelligent expertise and experience. Under her leadership, the #OneNewAboitizSustainability framework unifies the Group’s strategic business units in addressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, and the Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of the Aboitiz Group, continuously redefines CSR with a view to scaling impactful programs for systemic change.

Prosperity for all

Through its Private Sector Champions (PSC) Initiative, the GCNP pushes its 10-in-10 Agenda. With 10 focus areas to be undertaken in 10 years, from 2021 to 2031, the Agenda provides the blueprint for MSME recovery and resilience following the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. These focus areas are divided into three work streams: People, Prosperity, and Planet. The Aboitiz Group leads the Prosperity Pillar.

Hontiveros stressed that the main goal is to help MSMEs transform and become competitive, resilient, sustainable, and innovative through equitable and inclusive approaches for their long-term growth and development.

“To achieve this goal, we need to provide them with platforms, technologies, capability training, and access to markets and financial institutions to help them during this challenging time,” said Hontiveros.

The Prosperity Pillar will conduct quarterly webinars focusing on four focus areas: financing, supply chain sustainability, business continuity management, and diversification and market access. The series of webinars will address the top concerns of MSMEs, as well as link them to the UNGC Philippines’ network of organizations, particularly financial institutions that can assist them along the road of pandemic recovery.

Providing the means and connecting opportunities through technology, the Prosperity Pillar will adapt the Aboitiz Group’s Biyaheng Digiskarte mentoring program’s best practices in helping MSMEs recover and remain resilient.

“‘Digiskarte’ was coined to highlight the disruptions in all industries that happened in the digital space. Therefore, adjusting the strategies and tactics to optimize the digital platforms and spaces is our way forward, our diskarte. Digiskarte is using digital tools, approaches, and innovations in doing business,” shared Hontiveros last November during the UNGC Philippines’ 4th Sustainability Summit.

“Through our strategic and collaborative synergies as ecosystem stakeholders working together, we will be able to scale up our tested business cases to create meaningful and impactful approaches to recovery and resiliency building for them,” she continued.

As the Prosperity Pillar lead, Aboitiz rallies fellow private sector champions towards strategic collaboration and synergy to empower MSMEs through innovation and technology.

The expected outcomes of the Prosperity Pillar project include (i) the upscaling and upskilling of MSMEs; (ii) their increased capacity on digital platforms, finance, business continuity, and marketing; and (iii) the increased annual income for MSMEs. This will ultimately transform MSMEs to become competitive, resilient, sustainable, and future-ready.

The Prosperity Pillar involves collaborative efforts between the Aboitiz Group and its co-lead SM Investments Corporation, along with fellow member companies Philippine Marketing Association, Nestlé Philippines, Unilever, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, ADEC Innovations, Subic International Management Consultancy, Converge, and SGV.