In the third quarter, the PLDT Group continued to reinforce its commitment to embed sustainability into its business.
PLDT remains committed to implementing decarbonization measures across the whole group. This includes PLDT’s existing decarbonization roadmap which aims to reduce Scopes 1 and 2 emissions by 40% by 2030. Initiatives focused on the use of renewables, green technology in the network and energy efficiency achieve twin-goals of cost optimization and reduction of GHG emissions while maintaining the quality of our products and services.
In support of UN SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 15 (Life on Land), PLDT continues to pursue efforts focused on biodiversity conservation leveraging on partnerships (UN SDG 17) to achieve progress.
These include tree planting and reforestation activities supporting Maynilad Water Services, Inc., the water and wastewater services provider of cities and municipalities that form the West Zone of the Greater Manila Area.
PLDT is also collaborating with various stakeholders for the conservation of a nature-based climate solution, the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary (peatlands), a carbon-sink that has been identified as a RAMSAR Wetlands of International Importance.
The use of electronic devices is closely related to the provision of telco services, and electronic waste or e-waste an area of environmental concern.
With waste management having been identified by PLDT’s stakeholders as one of the company’s key material ESG topics, PLDT launched ‘Be Kind. Recycle.’, a recycling and waste management program focusing on the collection, treatment and proper disposal of e- waste. Initially piloted with employees during the celebration of Environmental, Health and Safety Week, the Group has expanded the program to include e-waste collection activities in HOME sales blitzes, deployment of e-waste bins in selected Smart mall stores, and programs with Enterprise customers.
Supporting circularity at the community level, the PLDT Group has also recently teamed up with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Ecowaste Coalition, Integrated Resources Inc., and the city of Baguio, for a Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) facility in Baguio City – the first local government initiated TSD outside Metro Manila.
This initiative supports UN SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and UN SDG 17 (Partnerships).
The PLDT Group is also leading the way in opening discussions on advanced technology like artificial intelligence in the home. In an event held as one of the highlights of the Philippine Digital Convention 2023 organized by PLDT Enterprise, a session centered around “Family Perspectives on Smart Home and Artificial Intelligence” brought together thought leaders on technology and parenting and emphasized the importance of fostering meaningful connections and responsible use of technology, in line with UN SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and SDG 17 (Partnerships).
In connection with its commitment to create a safe online environment for its customers, PLDT and Smart continue to undertake measures focused on data privacy and cybersecurity.
Among its customers, the group continues to be a leading champion of child online safety, having pursued a multi-pronged approach that includes collaboration with legislators, law enforcement, child protection advocates and investment in a custom-built platform that detects and blocks child sexual abusive and exploitative material (CSAEM).
In 2022 alone, PLDT and Smart prevented 1.3 billion user attempts to access online CSAEM. PLDT and Smart count UNICEF, the Internet Watch Foundation, and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, among its partners.
Enabling community-based reporting, the group, through its B2B arm PLDT Enterprise, has also helped the Council for the Welfare of Children set up the MAKABATA 1383 Helpline for the reporting of child abuse and child rights violations.
PLDT and SMART have also collaborated with the local government units of Angeles City in Pampanga, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Iligan City on efforts to develop local ordinances and expand grassroots programs on anti-OSAEC (Online Sexual Abusive and Exploitative Content) measures.
PLDT and Smart have also supported the local government of Siargao by donating solar lights to light up the island’s Catangan Bridge.
PLDT and Smart also continue to play an active role in building disaster-resilient Filipino communities through the nationwide rollout of the Ligtas Kit, an all-in-one communications package that extends emergency communications support to communities during disasters.
PLDT and Smart also continue to foster a culture of innovation alongside academic and professional excellence through the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program or SWEEP, the first and longest-running industry academe linkage in the Philippines, now on its 20th year.
Championing inclusivity, PLDT and Smart, with ATRIEV, continue to train more persons with visual impairment in using the Android Accessibility Suite program to aid them in maximizing the use of their smartphones and help improve the quality of life of the visually impaired sector through inclusive technology.
PLDT and Smart also continue to partner with leading tech platforms for ‘eBiznovation’, a digital upskilling-to-ecommerce program for local entrepreneurs, MSMEs and coops, including those in the agricultural and fishery sector. To date, PLDT has trained over 10,000 MSMEs and cooperatives, and successfully onboarded 100 MSMEs to e-commerce platforms Shopee and TikTok Shop.
As part of transforming each employee into a sustainability champion, PLDT continues to conduct educational sessions to ensure a common understanding of ESG. One such program was the Community Learning Series titled “Beyond Going Green: “Sustainability Everyday for Everyone”. The webinar discussed what sustainability is (“debunking the myths”) and how each can support the overall PLDT goal of attaining ESG leadership.
PLDT Chairman Manuel V Pangilinan maintains a positive view about PLDT’s performance for the full 2023 amidst a tough economic environment.
“The Company has done reasonably well against a tough inflationary environment, relatively high interest rates, and a slowing economic growth. In this regard, we are guiding full year Core Net Income of ₱34.0 billion, compared with ₱33.3 billion in 2022,” Pangilinan said.