Bonifacio Global City, Philippines – UN Sustainable Development Goals 2017 Pioneer, Jaime
Augusto Zobel de Ayala, shared the journey of Ayala on sustainability in an informal chat with
an exclusive group of CEOs and high-level executives held recently at the Shangri-la Hotel at
the Fort. The CEO SDG Circle Forum is one of the major initiatives of the Global Compact
Network Philippines (GCNP) this year.
The GCNP is the local entity of the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary initiative
whose primary goal is to inspire and promote collaboration primarily among business
corporations by encouraging the alignment of strategies and operations with ten universal
principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that
advance societal goals through the SDG goals and develop a sustainable community. With
more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 organizations, based in over 160 countries and more
than 70 Local Networks, it is spreading the word that companies everywhere — of all sizes
and from all sectors — can play a role in improving the world.
In the Forum, Mr. Zobel de Ayala shared that he started with 15 to 20% of his time in the late
80’s to the non-profit sector. “I tried in my own way to start making a difference in nonbusiness
issues, issues that perhaps help the country in a broad way. I lead a number of
initiatives such as chaired Children’s Hour initiative, and brought a consortium with the help
of Ayala Foundation and brought computers in public schools….”
“My thinking continued to evolve: using the concept of shared value from Harvard School…
about beginning to align the goals of the company with the development goals of the
Mr. Zobel de Ayala continued to explain that he started to transform Ayala about 15 years
ago and made it more relevant to the needs of the country, by developing products and
services which also touch low income groups. He highlighted the importance of promoting
the spirit of bayanihan and of aligning the goals of the corporation with the national
development goals of the country because it makes the organization more relevant.
On the SDG, Mr. Zobel de Ayala said that “The SDG.….. is an extraordinary framework. It’s
clear. People are aligning to it globally. It’s United Nations-driven.” He felt that most
companies are judged by Profit and Loss statements but it was equally important to look at
how companies can contribute to issues like employment or health and be able to put a
framework around it. He felt that it is time for private corporations to be recognized for such
Mr. Jose Teodoro “TG” Limcaoco, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Sustainability
Officer and Managing Director of Ayala Corporation also joined the discussion and explained
why SMEs can follow the sustainable path. With SMEs contributing to 99% of the
employment of the country, Mr. Limcaoco explained that SME need only to take one or two
SDGs that are relevant to its business to start with. It is more important to find out what
would work well for the business so that it can also help grow the business and the community
it operates in.
Mr. Limcaoco also mentioned that sustainability can equal to profitability. This has been
proven by the way Ayala has established its operations around sustainability. “It is about
building business models around sustainability”, said Limcaoco.
For more information on the GCNP, please visit https://globalcompactnetworkphilippines.org
or contact the GCNP Secretariat at 634-5722 and through email address
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