400 company representatives, dignitaries convene for 2012 ECOSWITCH Awards

27 09 2012

Four hundred local and foreign dignitaries as well as representatives of private companies gathered for the ECOSWITCH Awarding Ceremony held at the New World Hotel in Makati City, Philippines last September 25, 2012.

ECOSWITCH Project Director Dr. Alena Labodova formally welcomed the attendees.

A total of 150 participating companies received plaques and certification for facilitating the switch in their organization towards more environmentally sustainable operations. The list of awardees includes Goldilocks, Mekeni Food Corporation, Philippine Airlines, Lufthansa Technik, Yokohama Tire Corporation, Panasonic, Toyota Motors, and Mapua Institute of Technology.

The event marks the end of the second phase of the Green Philippines Islands of Sustainability (GPIoS) Project, an initiative funded by the European Union’s SWITCH Asia program. GPIoS seeks to contribute to an improved environmental and sustainable industrial development of Metro Manila and CALABARZON regions by introducing measures to save on energy, cut down on wastage and promote best environmental practices within organizations.

400 people from the public and private sectors convened for the event.

GPIoS is led by the Technical University of Ostrava (VSB), Czech Republic, Center for Appropriate Technology (GrAT), Austria, Australia Recycling (AREC), Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Philippine Business for the Environment, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries,  and STENUM.

Project Directors Thomas Dielacher and Alena Labodova led the event, along with Project and Grants Management Associate Juvy Jem Perez, and Technical Consultants Wilson Baldonado, Joshua Rey Albarina Rolando Sumabat, Helen Joyce Basco, Maricris Elemos, Arlyn Gonzales and Mariefe Kim.

The Project Team closely worked with the companies in implementing the energy efficiency and waste management measures.

Keynote Speaker Neri Acosta, Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection and General Manager of Laguna Lake Development Authority lauded the initiative, while also expressing the government’s commitment to environmental protection.

Mr. Matthieu Penot of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines commended the businesses and the Project Team for their contributions to greening the business sector. He was joined by other members of the delegation, Mag. Wilhelm Donko, the Ambassador of Austria to the Philippines, Mag. Isabel Schmiedbauer, Commercial Attache, Austrian Embassy; Gabriel Zobl-Kratschmann, Vice Consul at the Austrian Embassy; and RNDr. Jakob Cerny of Czech Republic Embassy.

Other presentors of the award were Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna, Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau; Mr. Arnel Go, Manager at ASSIST; Mr. Bobby Banaag of Plantersbank and Ms. Teresa Pacis, Vice President for Corporate Affairs, GMA Network.

The ceremony also featured partnership testimonials from Ms. Susan Benitez, President of Pollution Control Association of the Philippines (PCAPI); Mr. June Alvarez, Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI) and Ms. Victoria Tambunting-Alfonso, Vice President of the Plantersbank.

Mr. Matthieu Penot of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines graced the event.

Select companies also received the following citations:

ECOSWITCH Planet Award for Energy Efficiency: Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation

ECOSWITCH Planet Award for Water Conservation: Freshtex

ECOSWITCH Planet Award for Waste Minimization: United Pulp & Paper Company, Inc.

ECOSWITCH Green Coin Award: United Pulp & Paper Company, Inc.

ECOSWITCH People Award: Atlantic Coatings

ECOSWITCH Award for Impact and Dissemination: GMA Network, Incorporated and Plantersbank

ECOSWITCH Award for Networking: Manila Water Company, Incorporated

 Young actress and television host Bettina Carlos hosted the event. #

See GPIoS Facebook page for more official photos.

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150 companies to receive ECOSWITCH Award for environmental performance

21 09 2012

Green Philippines Islands of Sustainability, a project funded by the European Union’s SWITCH Asia Program will honor 150 companies at the ECOSWITCH Awarding Ceremony at the New World Hotel in Makati on September 25, 2012, 1 to 6pm.

The ECOSWITCH Awards marks the end of the second phase of the four-year initiative (2009-2013), which sought to contribute to an improved environmental and sustainable industrial development of Metro Manila and CALABARZON regions. It will recognize the companies which successfully implemented environment-friendly measures within their organization. Among the awardees are Kraft Foods, Inc., HAVI Logistics Philippines, Liwayway Marketing, Inc., and Philippine Airlines.

Led by the Technical University of Ostrava (VSB), Czech Republic, the Project Consortium includes the Center for Appropriate Technology (GrAT), Austria, Australia Recycling (AREC), Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Philippine Business for the Environment, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries,  and STENUM. They are expecting 400 guests for the event, including the representatives from the EU Delegation, Ambassadors of Austria and Czech Republic to the Philippines, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. #

Note: Acquisition for the third phase of the project is ongoing. Interested parties may contact the Project Coordinator, Juvy Perez, telephone number: 403-1890 or email juvy@greenphilippines.com.ph.





ASSIST joins the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2012

27 06 2012


Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is pleased to have joined the seventh Asia Clean Energy Forum, held last June 4 to 8 at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Manila, Philippines, along with more than 800 stakeholders from 55 countries.

The event was hosted with the overarching theme “Accelerating Low-Carbon Energy for All”. It served as a unique platform for dialogue between private, public and government stakeholders on the implementation and development of Clean Energy programs in Asia. Furthermore, it provided the attendees with updates on existing clean energy initiatives and on the state and availability of clean energy funding facilities.

The weeklong program was highlighted by sessions led by distinguished panelists, such as Haruhiko Kuroda of the ADB, Cliff Polycarp of the World Resources Institute, and Mary Ann Lucille Sering, Climate Change Commission of the Philippines, who discussed such pressing topics as “Financing Sustainability and Enabling Profitability”, “Clean Energy Access in South Asia” or “Clean Cooking Solutions for the Poor”.

ASSIST was represented by Managing Director Sreeni Narayanan, Partnership and Network Management Director Kamesh Ganeson and Group Associate Mahnaz Zanganeh.#





4th Annual Merck Safety Summit features ASSIST

21 06 2012


Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) joined the 4th Annual Merck Safety Summit, held June 1 at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City, Philippines, along with representatives from private companies, hospitals, academia, governmental agencies and NGOs.

The event summoned more than 500 participants in order to raise awareness towards the importance of safe handling of chemical waste and, in a broader context, of waste management.

It featured several Plenary Sessions led by distinguished experts in this field, such as Dr. Ulrich Billerbeck, Director and Safety Engineer from Merck Germany, who opened the session with a keynote speech on “Waste Management with Safe Handling of Chemicals”.

Other speakers include Dr. Rosalinda Torres, from the Industrial Technology Development Institute, Ms. Valeriana G. Reyes from the World Safety Organization and Mr. Ariel Entico, from Envirocare, who provided insights into their experiences and expertise.
ASSIST Managing Director Sreenivas Narayanan delivered a presentation on ASSIST’s toolkit on Responsible Production (RP) and elaborated on the RP Framework Model, thereby helping disseminate UNEP’s RP Approach to industries, local authorities, technical institutions, trainers and the academe.

The Summit also featured several booths, designed as venues of exchange for key stakeholders and experts in the field of waste management. As one of the organizations granted this honor, ASSIST used the designated space to introduce the attendees into its PRE-SME and RP Toolkits.#





ASSIST, DBP, ECCP, EMB-DENR and ADFIAP sign partnership agreement

24 04 2012

Green Financing aims to support environment-friendly processes and systems such as cleaner production, waste minimization, resource conservation, and energy efficiency.

Affirming their commitment to promote sustainable development in the Philippines, ASSIST, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) and the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) signed a memorandum of agreement for the Green Financing project last April 12, 2012 at the DBP Executive Lounge.

Green Financing aims to support environment-friendly processes and systems such as cleaner production, waste minimization, resource conservation, and energy efficiency. For this project, DBP earmarked 20.6B for industries and local government units to use on green initiatives.

DBP Program Development Head Vice President Paul Lazaro welcomed the attendees, after which ASSIST Managing Director Sreeni Narayanan, EMB-DENR Director Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna ECCP President Hubert D’ Aboville and ADFIAP Secretary General Octavio Peralta signed the partnership agreement.

In his closing remarks, DBP President and CEO Francisco F. Del Rosario Jr. commended the partners for their collaborative effort especially in this effort for sustainable development.

ASSIST Executive Director Murali, Group Executive Matthias Wichmann, Group Associate Mahnaz Zanganeh and Projects and Grants Management Associate Melba Tutor were also present..

See related article on Manila Bulletin.





ASSIST goes to Bangkok for UNEP Expert Workshop on APELL and Responsible Production

19 03 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is among the participants of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) Expert Workshop on Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL) and Responsible Production held in Bangkok, Thailand last February 29 to March 2, 2012.

Earthquakes, typhoons and other emergencies highlight the need for APELL.

The event served to raise awareness among public and private sectors in Thailand on the effectiveness of the APELL approach for improving local level preparedness to industrial and natural hazards and to build capacity of experts from both the government and the private sector in Thailand to carry out training activities that will adress capacity building needs of industrial SMEs.

Around 60 practitioners from government agencies, industry associations, chemical industries, including SMEs, academia, consultants and individual experts attended the event.

Through the event, UNEP hoped to (1) build participants understanding of the main concepts behind Responsible Production adn APELL (2) equip participants on the proper use of the UNEP RP Toolkit, Learners and Trainers Companion and (3) identify potentail trainers in the country to replicate trainigns on RP nationwide.

The APELL process is a methodological tool focusing on the identification of possible manmade and natural hazards, on awareness raising, and on the establishing and strengthening of local capacities for immediate, multi-party responses in the event that an emergency occurs. Since its development in the mid-1980s, APELL has been implemented in more than 30 countries and 80 communities worldwide.

Managing Director Sreeni Narayanan and Group Associate Mahnaz Zanganeh attended on behalf of ASSIST. In inviting ASSIST, UNEP recognizes the organization’s efforts at greening the industries.

Among these is the Systematic Engagement to Culture Responsible Enterprises in Gujarat (SECURE Gujarat), a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Project funded by German Development Bank DEG, which aims to explore how Responsible Production (RP) Framework can be mainstreamed in India’s rapidly growing economy.

Further, under the PRE-SMEs (Promoting Resource Efficiency for Small and Medium Enterprises in Developing Countries) project, ASSIST also developed a self-implementation resource efficiency toolkit for the UN Environmental Program (UNEP). Later, it also released a Responsible Production Learners and Trainers Companion, an interactive software-based training and communication package that can be used by presenters, trainers and trainees to raise awareness to the benefits of the approach and to guide RP users through some of the most important tools in the RP Toolkit.#





ASSIST GPIoS initiative forges partnership with PlantersBank and PCEPSDI

16 02 2012

“ASSIST’s Green Philippines Islands of Sustainability (GPIoS) is proud to forge two important partnerships towards the initiative’s sustainability,” explains project manager Juvy Perez.

Caption: Present at the signing of the agreement were (from left) Mr. Wilson Baldonado - GPIoS Public Relations and Sustainability Officer, Dr. Thomas Dielacher- GPIoS Project Director, Mr. Roberto Banaag – First Vice President and Department Head of Corporate Communication, and Mr. Edward Dennis Liuag- Corporate Communications Department

Last December 14, 2011, GPIoS and Plantersbank signed a partnership, bridging the gap of the lack of SMEs to approach financial institutions and effectively access resources. GPIoS will serve as a tool to increase profitability while being environment-friendly, making SMEs more bankable.

“GPIoS and Plantersbank share a common goal of promoting sustainable development, and this collaboration includes promoting awareness and compliance of Filipino Entrepreneurs on local and national legislation and policies involving sustainable production and consumption,” says project director Dr. Thomas Dielacher.

The partnership will involve heightened use of technology-based assessment and environmental trainings for participating SMEs. Plantersbank with the GPIoS implementing partners will attract more pro-environmental investors and transactions and a well-founded public –private partnership. Plantersbank itself will undergo assessment as part of the GPIoS Phase 2 companies under ECOFOCUS Programme. It will also host workshops for their clients which will participate under the GPIoS ECOSENSE Program.

GPIoS also partnered with Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc., the secretariat for the National Eco-labeling Program “GreenChoice” Philippines last January 25, 2012, Berjaya Hotel, Makati City.

GPIoS and PCEPSDI share a common advocacy for caring to the environment through creating awareness and compliance of Filipino entrepreneurs on local and national policies involving sustainable production and consumption. The experts from GPIoS project will work together with the National Eco-labeling Program-Green Choice Philippines in the development of environmental standards for products. Moreover, the two organizations, with their network of companies will present and promote the “GPIoS shining showcases” to attract more pro-environmental actions and to engage in the National Eco-labeling Program “Green Choice” Philippines.

GPIoS is a project that seeks to contribute to an improved environmental and sustainable industrial development of Metro Manila and CALABARZON regions by introducing measures to save on energy, cut down on wastage and promote best environmental practices within organizations.

Funded by the European Union’s SWITCHAsia program, it is implemented by ASSIST,  GrAT of Austria, Czech Republic’s University of Ostrava (VSB), Austria Recycling (AREC), Philippine Chamber of Commerce Inc. (PCCI), European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), Philippine Business for the Environment (PBE) and STENUM. #