Monthly Archives: October 2012

2nd Sustainability Reporting Conference in the Philippines

On November 29, sustainability professionals will gather at the by-invitation only event. The 2nd Sustainability Reporting Conference will take stock of the developments happening as well as the track that this emerging practice is most likely to take as  more Philippine companies adopt the practice of sustainability reporting.

Energy companies are noticeably at the forefront of this kind of corporate reporting. This trend in the Philippines seems to reflect the global reporting trend that saw a greater uptake among the financial, energy and utility companies (GRI, 2011). Judging from the recent sustainability reports that came out this year, it is the energy sector that has been leading the uptake.

What’s in store for the Philippines? This Sustainability Reporting Conference in the Philippines may well become the local barometer of sustainability reporting and related activities. More to follow on the 29th.

The Center for Social Responsibility of the University of Asia and the Pacific is the convenor of this special event.


Birthing Geothermal Power in the Philippines (The NZ Legacy)

This week, the Philippine president visits New Zealand and Australia to promote strong economic and cultural ties. The relations of the Philippines and New Zealand runs deeper with the latter bequeathing its technical know-how in geothermal engineering, which became a catalyst in the former’s rise to world geothermal energy leadership.

As early as the 1950s, geothermal was already being studied by the eminent Filipino geothermal scientist Dr. Arturo Alacaraz. It was not brought to bigger scale until the oil crisis the creation of Energy Development Corporation, as the governmental arm in exploring and developing indigenous energy alternatives.

New technology was needed and the country had zero knowledge about developing that potent energy lying beneath dead volcanic systems. The Philippine Government signed a bilateral agreement with New Zealand. New Zealand was the logical choice because it was operating geothermal projects in its own country. The cooperation agreement provided a NZ$15 million technical assistance package that funded the exploration of the Tongonan and Palinpinon fields.  A drilling rig was  included in the assistance package.

There was another more natural reason for cooperation with New Zealand. While geothermal steam of such geothermal leaders as Italy and USA are vapor-dominated, New Zealand’s and the Philippines’ are both hot water-dominated. This makes New Zealand’s expertise more compatible with local conditions.

Within five months of EDC’s formation, the first deep exploration well had been drilled at Tongonan led by a motley crew of geologists, geochemists, volcanologists and geophysicists, with the addition of some recruits coming from the oil industry. By 1977, the 3-MW pilot plant in Tongonan was put up. Another 6-MW was ran after wells in Okoy 2 and Okoy 5 in Palinpinon were drilled.

Working with the New Zealand’s technical arm, KRTA, had always been impressive and the size and pace of geothermal development programs have been breathtaking. From Tongonan and Palinpinon, this synergy was brought to a higher level with the collaboration on the Unified Leyte project. The 700-MW steamfield was conceptualized, bidded out, constructed and commissioned in a remarkably short time frame of only three years.The Kiwis were impressed about this given the history of the Ohaaki field where the entire facility was commissioned some 20 years after production drilling had been completed.

Below is a collection of rare photos chronicling those formative years. Credits to the Public Relations Department of Energy Development Corporation for sharing these mementos.

Former Energy Minister (seated right) signs the bilateral agreement that would commence the PHL-NZ partnership leading to the country’s enviable position as one of the world’s top geothermal leader

A geothermal production well, circa 1977

A separator station is set up in Leyte

The mission aid talks served as the bridge that linked the NZ expertise with the Filipinos’ desire to learn wet steam technology

This aerial shot presents the newly minted Malitbog geothermal power plant located in Leyte. It was in the Tongonan Valley that geothermal struck big time. At 232.5, Malitbog is the world’s largest geothermal power station under one roof.


The Malitbog power plant is one of the powerhouses of the national electric grid, supplying clean geothermal power to Luzon island where much of the economic activities happen.


The Palinpinon steamfield, circa late 70s. A showcase of engineering ingenuity, this project is well known for its compact size, fitting into one manageable area the main components of a geothermal project — from multi-well pads for production to the fluid collection and recycling system that connects the steam fuel to the power station.


The Palinpinon steamfield today, a veritable source of geothermal power that supplies electricity to the Visayas grid.


The well discharge has become a symbolic image of the Philippines’ geothermal success story


Philippine Sustainability Reporting Bulletin – Maiden Issue

The University of Asia and the Pacific through its Center for Social Responsibility launches a pioneering bulletin that aims to promote sustainability reporting in the Philippines. The maiden issue features geothermal giant Energy Development Corporation, which has been producing its integrated sustainability report using the Global Reporting Initiative Framework for Electric Utilities Sector. At B+, EDC has recently reported on 82 out of the 104 key performance indicators (KPIs).
In the Philippines, sustainability reporting is a nascent activity. Manila Water Corporation, an Ayala-led utility company, was the first business to do a sustainability report in the late 90s.  Soon after, its parent company and subsidiaries followed suit. Recently, however, there was a decline in enthusiasm as Manila Water remained using a self-declared GRI-based report. The slack was picked up by companies in the energy sector. Today, the most active reporters are Petron Corporation (San Miguel-owned), Team Energy and Energy Development Corporation (Lopez-owned). All three companies seem to be advancing the practice of corporate reporting by including assurance in its report aside from using the GRI 3.1 framework.  Team Energy and Energy Development Corporation are using the Electric Utilities Sector Supplement which has more set of parameters specific to power generating companies. Aboitiz Power joined the fold publishing its maiden report at B-level, self-declared.


With the launching of UA&P-CSR’s Sustainability Bulletin, it is expected that the practice of sustainability reporting will be promoted.



To download a copy, click on the link below:

CSR Project Bulletin 1 – UA&P and EDC Partnerships for AA1000