SGV Knowledge Institute spearheads Climate Convergence forum, calls for climate resilience, low-carbon economy transition

The SGV Knowledge Institute, led by SGV & Co.’s Sustainability team, spearheaded a forum entitled Climate Convergence: Actions toward a Resilient Future at Shangri-La The Fort, Manila on April 25, 2024 with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga as the keynote speaker.

The event delved into the impact of climate change and how it is becoming more visible and pronounced, with businesses facing unprecedented physical and transition risks. However, there are opportunities to be found for strategic positioning and growth amid these risks. Given the situation, SGV & Co. recognizes the critical need to educate and equip enterprises in the Philippines with essential knowledge and strategies to enhance climate resilience as a competitive advantage and growth strategy.

“[Climate change] poses a profound challenge to all of us — our businesses, economies, societies and even our way of life,” said SGV Chairman and Country Managing Partner Wilson Tan in his opening remarks. “And so, it is high time that we take action by learning all that we need to know in order to build comprehensive strategies that encompass climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.”

The climate resilience forum brought together local and international speakers to share their insights and the measures that their organizations are implementing to achieve climate resilience and in pursuing opportunities in the transition to a low-carbon economy. A low-carbon economy refers to an economy based on sustainable actions, which aims to produce less pollution and minimal greenhouse gas emissions. This calls for the use of low-carbon technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels, and biomass systems, among others.

The event also aimed to integrate governmental insights with corporate climate strategies to align and harmonize private-sector efforts with national policy objectives. This collaborative approach is intended to create a comprehensive, whole-of-society pathway that will eventually strengthen and bolster resilience and sustainable development nationwide.

“We need to recognize climate resilience as a competitive business advantage and growth strategy and transform economic systems towards one that is regenerative, equitable and one that operates within planetary boundaries,” DENR Secretary Loyzaga stated. “We need to act and move towards reporting and supporting the recommendations of the task force on climate-related financial disclosures and task force on nature-related financial disclosures. We have a specific challenge on solid waste management in the Philippines and I urge the business community to view this sector as an industry rather than just a side event as a result of our own businesses. We need to ensure there is a just transition towards a recycling and repurposing economy.” 

“Finally, I want to call on the international community through this: there is a need to reform the global financial architecture to respond to specific country needs and the relationship between development and climate finance. No country should have to choose between development and climate action and that should not be a choice as well for businesses. We must all play our part. The role of entities in these multilateral and bilateral development systems and the private sector globally need to respond to complex choices and country-driven pathways towards resilient, inclusive and low-carbon development. We look to the private sector to continue being a valuable partner in achieving a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable Philippines,” Secretary Loyzaga continued.

The first part of the forum tackled climate risks and how to manage physical and transition risks, as well as adapting to climate risks and low-carbon transition. The speakers for this part were Swiss Re Digital Propositions Lead for Asia-Pacific Veng Hoong Loh; Energy Development Corporation President and COO Jerome Cainglet; JG Summit Holdings, Inc. Head of Sustainability and CSR Yvonne Flores; and Nickel Asia Corporation Vice President for 

Corporate Communications Jose Bayani Baylon. 

The climate forum’s second part focused on low-carbon investment opportunities and explored climate resilience and strategic profit models that align with low-carbon solutions. Speakers for this part were EY Singapore Climate Change and Sustainability Services Leader Praveen Tekchandani; SteelAsia Manufacturing Corporation Chief Technical Officer Pek Hoong Chong; and BDO Unibank, Inc. President and CEO Nestor Tan.

“We can no longer deny the powerful effects of climate change because we are in the midst of experiencing its impact both on the personal and the business aspects of our lives,” SGV Chief Sustainability Officer Clairma Mangangey remarked. “The key to addressing this is to understand the accompanying risks of climate change and create avenues to share best practices of not just providing solutions to these risks but also of finding opportunities in it as we transition to a low-carbon economy. We hope to highlight the urgency of addressing this matter in this forum and how working together will empower us to be climate resilient and effectively transition to an economy that champions sustainability.”

In the face of climate emergency and crisis, the climate forum aimed to enhance the understanding of climate risks and their implications for business operations and strategy, to facilitate knowledge sharing on innovative risk assessment and management practices and to strengthen the network among professionals dedicated to driving climate resilience and sustainability.

The SGV Knowledge Institute is a hub for intellectual exchange and advancement, powered by SGV & Co.’s collective thought leadership, experienced multidisciplinary professionals and vast network of alumni, global EY professionals and allies in the business community and public sector, fostering continuous learning, knowledge-sharing and innovation. Through insightful and relevant thought leadership events, the SGV Knowledge Institute aims to promote insightful discourse and knowledge sharing, in line with SGV & Co.’s Purpose to nurture leaders and enable businesses for a better Philippines.

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