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Costly sustainable methods remain a hurdle for private firms

OPERATIONAL costs in complying with sustainability standards are the main challenge for organizations in the Philippines, a US-listed service provider said.

In its study, Kyndryl said that 62% of local organizations see these costs as a challenge while 53% of them cited data availability.

Dedicated resources, ambiguous reporting metrics, the cost of getting sustainable certifications, and the absence of clear incentives were identified by 50%, 48%, 47%, and 20%, respectively.

“The key challenges cited here show that organizations’ sustainability initiatives in the Philippines are still at the preliminary stages. It is a journey and it takes time but it can be done,” Kyndryl Philippines Managing Director Wilson Go said in an e-mail interview.

He added that according to Kyndryl’s ASEAN Digital Transformation Study, eight out of 10 companies in the Philippines are aiming to become sustainable enterprises.

“However, despite the greater focus on sustainability, many organizations pursue sustainability goals without a strategy backing them up,” Mr. Go said.

“Only 22% of organizations in the Philippines have a corporate sustainability strategy which hinders them from achieving a sustainable business,” he added.

According to Kyndryl, organizations need to understand that success is measured in terms of financial, social, and managing climate risks.

“In fact, we have seen customers preferring to purchase goods and services that are sustainable and investors requesting enterprises to reduce their carbon footprints and report on their results using frameworks like the Task Force for Nonfinancial Disclosure,” Kyndryl Global Chief Sustainability Officer Faith Taylor said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Taylor said that there have to be synergies between the government and companies to reduce the global environmental footprint.

“This partnership has to result in everyone working together to set reduction targets and goals that use consistent metrics. The data needs to be harmonized and collected across industries and governments so that we can track and quantify our progress and impact,” Ms. Taylor said.

She added that the government can set out incentives, loans, and policies that can be a form of benefit to key stakeholders and in turn help in meeting their net-zero targets or their goal of eliminating carbon emissions.

Ms. Taylor also said that companies must continue to secure sustainability certifications as it goes “beyond a seal or certificate of proof”.

“The process of obtaining the certifications helps to systematize the environmental processes and help them integrate the sustainability practice into an organization,” she said.

“It can also guide organizations to create a green corporate culture and a more sustainable, socially responsible business,” she added. “It is also a way of demonstrating the company’s sustainability commitment to their stakeholders as well as to the community.” — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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