Education at the Core of JG Summit’s Sustainability

In May 2018, JG Summit Holdings Inc. announced the appointment of Lance Y. Gokongwei as the conglomerate’s President and Chief Executive Officer. This development marks a new generation of leadership that will take JG Summit to even greater heights, but one that requires strategically transforming the enterprise, to include a focus on key areas—one of which is the adoption of a formal Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) program.

“The move towards greater sustainability is strategic for us in aligning our business strategies with all our corporate social responsibility efforts on empowering communities, elevating people’s lives, and protecting our planet,” says Gokongwei.

With the combined strengths and competencies of its strategic business units (SBUs)—Cebu Pacific, Robinsons Land Corporation, Universal Robina Corporation, JG Summit Petrochemicals Group and Robinsons Bank—JG Summit has carved for itself an essential role in nation-building, a mission reflected in the three pillars of its sustainability framework: Pulling for Progress, Raising People Up, and Caring for the Environment.

The Flourish Pilipinas program of Universal Robina Corporation (URC)–Flour & Pasta Division is a prime example of capacity-building initiatives specifically targeted toward the youth. Developed in collaboration with the Department of Education, the program created and distributed a strategically designed multimedia teachers’ toolkit for bread and pastry production under the SHS Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track. In pilot stage, URC Flour engaged 11 public schools in Metro Manila and Davao, benefitting 1,109 senior high school students.

At JG Summit Petrochemicals Group in Batangas, the company and its employees conduct educational outreach activities under their flagship and primarily employee-driven “Abot Kamay” program. Since 2000, JGSPG through Abot Kamay has been regularly supporting academically-qualified high school and college students within its host barangays with scholarships, covering expenses like tuition, books, uniforms, and monthly stipends. One of the beneficiaries of the program is now a mechanical engineer employed by the company. JGSPG has also been actively supporting the needs of the nearby public schools, with annual school clean-up drives, donations of school and office supplies, furniture and equipment, as well as regular feeding and outreach programs, which has now benefited over 9,500 students of nearby barangays since the start of the program.

For Robinsons Bank, elevating people’s lives is achieved through the promotion of financial literacy. Under its flagship CSR program, RBank Creates Value, volunteers of Robinsons Bank adopt schools where financial awareness activities are conducted for the pupils and their parents. This CSR program’s guiding principle is to engage the whole Filipino household through a 3-year roadmap. On the first year of the program, 263 RBankers volunteered to teach the “Value of Saving” to pupils of 15 schools nationwide. On the second year, almost 300 RBank employees visited 17 schools nationwide and impacted a total of 1,288 beneficiaries, composed of mothers of the pupils. To complete the third leg of the Roadmap, the focus of the initiatives this year will be on the fathers of the children of adopted schools.

“Running a truly sustainable business is a must. It is not anymore a nice-to-have, but rather a necessary component of a well-run business,” explains Gokongwei. “Integrating sustainability at the core of our businesses which includes disclosure of its sustainability performance will enable JG Summit companies to focus on creating visible shared value. This is indeed a more impactful future for JG Summit and its key stakeholders.”

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