PSBC, GRI Ink Agreement on Sustainability Reporting Advancement Initiatives

Posted on November 18, 2021

November 10, 2021, Makati City – The Philippine-Swiss Business Council (PSBC) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set out a framework for cooperation on “Sustainability Reporting Advancement Initiatives”. Through the MoU, PSBC with the support of GRI aims to help accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and sustainability reporting in the Philippines.

The MoU was signed by GRI Chief Financial Officer Ms. Dani Marunovic and Ms. Christine Fajardo, PSBC Chairperson and Corporate Affairs Head of Novartis Philippines. The MoU signing was witnessed by Ambassador Alain Gaschen representing the Swiss federal government’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The ceremony was also attended by Ms. Allinnettes Adigue, GRI ASEAN Regional Hub Head, and Ms. Ma. Katreena Pillejera, GRI Country Manager – Philippines.

Ms. Fajardo announced the MoU signing during the PSBC Hybrid General Membership Meeting (GMM) on 10 November 2021. Selected participants attended the onsite meeting at the Seda Hotel Rooftop in Makati City and the rest of the participants joined virtually via Zoom. Health and safety protocols were strictly observed at the onsite meeting. All onsite attendees presented proof of full vaccination, and took a rapid antigen test provided by the organizer prior to the meeting.

PSBC and GRI representatives holding the memorandum of agreement
The Philippine-Swiss Business Council (PSBC) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set out a framework for cooperation on “Sustainability Reporting Advancement Initiatives”. Photo shows (from left) H.E. Alain Gaschen, Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines; Ms. Allinnettes Adigue, GRI ASEAN Regional Hub Head; Ms. Christine Fajardo, PSBC Chairperson & Corporate Affairs Head of Novartis Philippines; and Ms. Ma. Katreena Pillejera, GRI Country Manager – Philippines, at the PSBC Hybrid General Membership Meeting (GMM) held on 10 November 2021 at the Seda Hotel Rooftop in Makati City.

The MoU involves the following key actions:

  • Deliver an Impact Study spearheaded by PSBC and supported by GRI. The Impact Study will cover PSBC member-companies by highlighting their sustainability contributions to the community
  • Establish a relationship with PSBC member-companies by raising awareness on the business case of sustainability and building capacity for accountability and transparency through sustainability reporting

“We are honored to partner with GRI on our Sustainability Reporting Advancement Initiatives. As a business council, we aim to integrate our members’ contributions in rebuilding the business ecosystem. With the support of SECO-GRI, PSBC intends to step up the communication of our member companies’ social, environmental, and economic impact on society, and facilitate capacity training on sustainability reporting,” said Ms. Fajardo.

“GRI is really honored to be able to work with PSBC under the framework of our Sustainability Reporting for Responsible Business Program supported by SECO. We are looking forward to help catalyze PSBC members to be champions in showing the transformation into more resilient and sustainable business. We believe sustainability reporting will help you to do a systemic transformation and mobilize all your stakeholders in working together for a transparent and accountable future,” said Ms. Pillejera.

“We are happy that our SECO`s Sustainability Reporting for Responsible Business Program is taking footprint in the Philippines. We are committed to increasing high-quality sustainability disclosure and accountability, and are excited to have the PSBC on-board as we promote ‘Swisstainable’ solutions to global challenges,” said Ambassador Gaschen.

In line with its advocacy to communicate its member companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact on society, the PSBC recently launched its Impact Stories Initiative that aim to demonstrate the council’s strong commitment to responsible business. Member companies have until November 30, 2021 to submit their Impact Stories to [email protected]. The first seven companies that submitted their Impact Stories are:1

  • Stamm International’s logistical support to Caritas Switzerland has enabled 40,000 metric tons of construction material to reach remote islands without infrastructure. In Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental, the third school building project in the Philippines was realized with the support of NAK-HUMANITAS in Switzerland despite the challenges of Covid.
  • In terms of social impact, Novartis medicines reached 2.2M Filipino patients. Novartis focused on helping strengthen the country’s healthcare system. To help enhance eye care, we collaborated with the Fred Hollows Foundation, Vitreo-Retina Society of the Philippines, and National Committee for Sight Preservation to provide eye health education to over one million patients, screen more than 70 thousand patients, and treat over 4,500 patients despite community quarantine restrictions.2
  • Nestle Philippines has become the first and only multinational fast-moving consumer goods company to become plastic neutral.
  • Ivoclar Vivadent, which employs 350 Filipinos, has been shipping its dental care products from the Philippines to 5 markets despite pandemic-related manufacturing limitations.
  • In support of green living, DDC Land utilizes electrical technology that cleanses impurities flowing into its residential units, resulting in lower energy consumption.
  • Dashlabs.ai worked with the government in monitoring Covid infections across the archipelago and digitizing Red Cross Covid testing facilities.

References:

  1. PSBC Impact Stories submitted entries, data on file
  2. Novartis Philippines data on file, submitted as entry to PSBC Impact Stories
Christine Fajardo

About the Author

Christine Fajardo is the current Chair of the Philippine Swiss Business Council and the Corporate Affairs Head of Novartis Philippines. A strong believer of a collective and co-created effort, she supports empathic solutions to transform health outcomes while igniting synergy for social and economic impact.
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