MANILA – One of the country’s biggest property developers has reached 91 percent carbon neutrality in its commercial properties despite the pandemic, and is on track to achieve its target of 100 percent by next year.
This means that all of the greenhouse gases discharged by Ayala Land’s malls, offices, hotels, and resorts because of its use of fossil fuels will be fully reduced and offset by the end of 2022 by switching to renewable energy and nurturing and protecting 586 hectares of its land bank which it designated as carbon forests, Manny Blas, head of Corporate Services of Ayala Land Estate Group, said.
“We’re confident we will hit our target by the end of next year,’’ said Blas whose group embarked on a bold program in 2017 to reduce its carbon footprint to zero in five years.
This supports the country’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent in 2030 as part of a global commitment to address climate change.
Achieving carbon neutrality calls for a combination of measures that include the use of renewable energy, the use of natural lighting and ventilation and energy-efficient cooling facilities, and offsetting emissions with natural regeneration efforts like tree planting and reforestation.
Blas said that in inching closer to carbon neutrality last year, Ayala Land reached the following milestones: 63 percent of total gross leasable area of commercial properties are now using renewable energy; 25,000 trees were planted across 24 hectares of its carbon forests in 2020 alone; and 80 percent of the total carbon forest area are covered with trees.
In launching the program in 2017, Ayala Land chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said the company’s success cannot be measured in terms of profitability and market presence alone.
“We are mindful of our corporate sustainability targets, and our efforts to set new goals such as carbon neutrality affirm our commitment to sustainable and inclusive growth,” he said.
This sustainability campaign has not gone unnoticed. In 2020 alone, Ayala Land was granted an “A-” leadership rating on climate change by the Carbon Disclosure Project.
It was included as a member of the SAM Sustainability Yearbook 2020 of S&P Global for achieving a score in the top 15 percent of the industry, and was granted the 3G ESG Championship Award for the Philippines by Cambridge IFA.
At home, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry gave a special citation to Ayala Land in the 2020 Excellence in Ecology and Economy Awards. (PR)