Ten Photos to Shake the World National Photo Competition winners announced

13 12 2012


Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), an international non-profit organization based in the Philippines closed the 2nd Run of the Ten Photos to Shake the World Nationwide Photo Competition with an awarding ceremony last December 10, 2012 at the Ayala Museum.

Launched on August 6, 2012, the competition accepted entries until November 15, 2012, and eventually gathered 376 photographs.

Open to anyone who holds a Filipino citizenship, the photography contest looked for ten compelling photos to shake the world under the theme “Challenges and Triumphs in the Pursuit of Sustainable Development.” Photos showed any of the following themes: poverty, political crises, global recession, the changing climate (challenges), and people’s movements, innovations, development partnerships (triumphs).

Suzanne Nazal of ADB, Christopher Rollo of UNIDO, Nigel Ian Laxamana of Digital Photographer Philippines (DPP), Eduviges Huang of Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF) and Ana Liza Valencia of International Labour Organization (ILO) formed the pool of judges who selected the top photo entries.

The final 10 winners were chosen based on the following criteria: a) Substance, Impact and Creativity: 50% b) Composition, clarity and technical quality: 50%.

First Prize: Mr. Danilo Victoriano Jr. (Entry #47)

Second Prize: Mr. Nikki Sandino M. Victoriano (Entry #79)

Third Prize: Ms. Annelyn B. Lacson (Entry #98)

Fourth Prize: Mr. Joel C. Forte (Entry #109)

Fifth Prize: Mr. Carlo G. Zamora (Entry #187)

Sixth Prize: Mr. Jaime S. Singlador (Entry #42)

Seventh Prize: Mr. Ateneo Teni Santa Ines (Entry #197)

Eighth Prize: Mr. Victor Gamosa Ursabia (Entry #312)

Ninth Prize:  Mr. Robert John Cabagnot (Entry#250)

Tenth Prize: Mr. George V. Cabig (Entry #322)

The Ten Photos to Shake the World Competition is a project of ASSIST’s Social Initiatives Unit, in cooperation with TÜV Rheinland, Ayala Foundation, Globe, Calata Corporation, BPI Foundation, Asian Institute of Management, Nestle, Mondelez International, Bank of Commerce, Business World, Digital Photographer Philippines, and Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation.#


ASSIST, UL DQS and IGCC launch Auto Sustain PPP

12 11 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation – ASSIST, UL DQS India and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) launched the Public Private Partnership Project Auto Sustain through a CEO Forum last October 30, 2012 at Park Sheraton, Chennai, India.

Co-funded by DEG, Auto Sustain aims to bring about a sustainable transformation in India’s automotive industry by helping the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) from the automotive sector adopt sustainable practices.

The project launch was graced by top managers of various large and medium-sized enterprises including the CEO and Managing Director of UL DQS India, Dr. K. Murugan; Executive Director of ASSIST, Mr. S. Muralidharan; Director of ASSIST & Auditor at Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS), Mr. D. K. S. Moorthy; and the Regional Director of IGCC, Mr. S. Raj.

Dr. K. Murugan, Managing Director and CEO at UL DQS India opened the event, and shared a brief on various PPP initiatives and projects implemented by UL DQS India and ASSIST in countries like India and Sri Lanka. Together, ASSIST and UL DQS India hope to build capacity across industrial sectors on practices supporting energy and resource efficiency through adoption of Energy Management Systems and implementation of Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production practices respectively.

Then, Mr. Biju Balendran, Vice President, Plant Engineering from Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd highlighted the concept of Automotive Industry and Sustainability from an OEM Perspective in his keynote address that delved on the various measures adopted by Renault Nissan for resource optimization, energy conservation and reduction of GHG emissions.

For his part, Mr. Muralidharan shared his views on the current trends in the automotive industry of India and familiarized the guests with the activities that would be implemented during the course of the project. For example, project beneficiaries will be engaged in surveys to understand the current practices followed by the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and in the technical training workshops to build local capacity on sustainable practices among the SMEs. Technical assistance on ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, IQNet SR 10 and Global Reporting Initiative will be extended to the enterprises to enable them to align with Environmental, Health and Safety Management Systems.

Mr. D. K. S. Moorthy then discussed the importance of Sustainability Reporting and publishing of sustainability reports by enterprises to showcase the accountability of their actions and impacts on the society and environment.

Following an open forum during which company representatives shared ideas about balancing corporate accountability in the automotive sector while improving profits, Mr. S. Raj delivered the closing remarks.

The 18-month project will soon be launched in Bangalore and Pune to reach out to a larger group of beneficiaries from the major automobile manufacturing units. #

ASSIST Cleaner Production Project PROSPER Sri Lanka graduates new batch of trainers

3 10 2012

PROmoting Sustainable Practices on Environment and Resource optimization (PROSPER) in Sri Lanka held another batch of training of trainer (ToT) workshop on cleaner production in Colombo, Sri Lanka last September 11 to 13, 2012.

Co-financed by DEG and UL DQS and implemented by UL DQS, Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), and Sri Lanka NCPC, PROSPER Sri Lanka hopes to raise overall awareness on the need and means to implement Resource Efficient and Clean Production (RECP) methodologies and strategize transfer of knowledge through a series of trainings and capacity building initiatives.

The three-day training was led by Sri Lanka NCPC Deputy Director Samantha Kumarasena, and Director Sena Peiris, and was attended by members of the chemical, textile, and service industries.

Following the event, the project team is set of conduct two more ToTs, implement the training curricula, and distribute an e-toolkit among the SMEs.

ASSIST Project and Grants Management Director Sathappan Sathappan and PGM Associate Kruti Shah helped launch the activity.

ASSIST is an international non-profit organization focused on capacity-building. It seeks to promote sustainable practices to address social problems in the developing world, with focus on Asia and Africa. It takes pride in its process-oriented approach to capacity building towards social improvement and sustainable transformation. Its goal is to empower its target groups to make them resilient to the social, economic, and environmental challenges.

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.

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.

LEAP Indonesia Project Hosts Review Forum

20 07 2012

To ensure that the project is moving forward, beneficiaries are implementing the required controls per schedule and objectives are fully met, the LEAP Indonesia  implementers Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) and PT TUV NORD Indonesia held a review forum last June 26 and 28 in Jakarta’s Hotel IBIS and Medan’s Hotel Aryaduta, respectively.

LEAP Indonesia or Leapfrog towards Efficiency And Progress through Low Carbon Economy Indonesia is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project designed to help the businesses from five sectors (Cement, Iron and Steel, Textile, Power Plant and Palm Oil) 1) reduce their Green House Gas emissions, 2) become more energy-efficient and 3) contribute to the national plans of the government towards low-carbon economy.

Led by ASSIST Partnerships and Network Management Director Kamesh Ganeson, TUV Nord Jakarta‘s Eva Pitterling and TUV Nord Medan‘s Ellys Simamora, the review forum covered the project activities since the initial Training of Trainers session in April.

The participants, which included ASSIST local consultants  Tommy Julius, Sahrial Hakim and Harris Salleh engaged in an assessment using the 5D (Discover, Define, Document, Deploy and Determine) cycle. Among the factors evaluated were the provision of management support, training and propagation of the ISO 50001 (Energy Management System).

Further, the event served as a venue for providing technical support for the initial Energy Review and Base-lining that the beneficiary companies were supposed to do.

For instance, company representatives needed to understand the process  of energy audit, leading them how to track electricity wastage.

The Project Team also revisited the commitments of the company beneficiary with respect to reducing their energy consumption and improving energy performance especially under the ISO 50001.

Based on the review findings, the project team discussed the next steps to take, as well as the measures needed to be in place to ensure smooth project flow.

The LEAP Indonesia initiative is co-financed by PT TUV NORD Indonesia and German development bank DEG. ASSIST offers technical expertise, training and technical assistance to local companies for this project.

It is in line with the Indonesian government‘s mandate that Critical National Infrastructures supporting the electricity generation and distribution reduce the carbon dioxide footprint of energy generation using fossil fuel.

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.#