Filinvest Group to fast forward sustainability: Energy efficient buildings leading the change

The Filinvest Group is in constant move to drive synergy and redefine the role of the conglomerate in the growth and success of its diverse businesses. As it explores new investments and further strengthens its businesses, it also aims to demonstrate that at the heart of its operations is the purpose of continually enabling dreams for more Filipinos. 

Reinforcing the company’s established commitment to sustainability, Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC) is guided by a framework that supports the intention to be “green, inclusive and resilient.”

Green Commitment

The Filinvest Group balances its financial goals with social and environmental responsibility, ensuring the longevity of the business and generating positive impact on nature, and the lives of its customers and stakeholders.

Central Park is one of the many spaces in Filinvest City that offers a wellness hub amid lush, green landscapes within a modern urban development.

Filinvest City, for instance, was launched in 1995 with a consciousness for sustainability and resiliency long before these became imperative in property development. The 244-hectare master-planned development is the first and only green-certified central business district with a LEED Gold certification for Neighborhood Development from the U.S. Green Building Council and a 3-star BERDE certification from the Philippine Green Building Council.

In 2023, seven prime office buildings located in Northgate Cyberzone within Filinvest City, passed a rigorous verification process to obtain certifications under Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE), a green building standard developed by the International Finance Corp. The EDGE seal is awarded to developments that meet global standards in savings on energy, water efficiency and embodied carbon. 

The Northgate Cyberzone in Filinvest City is currently home to seven EDGE-certified buildings, and two LEED Gold Certified Buildings, housing different office spaces.

The seven EDGE-certified Filinvest REIT buildings stand as a testament to our green design and operation. These are Filinvest One, Filinvest Two, Filinvest Three, Vector One, Vector Two, Plaza A, and Plaza D.

EDGE-certified facilities play a crucial role in mitigating the environment footprint of Filinvest’s built environment since there is only an average consumption of 29% less energy, 39% less water and 54% less embodied energy compared to other buildings in the Philippines.

“Driven by our objective to provide an enabling environment for office tenants who adopted their own sustainability goals, securing green-certified buildings help Filinvest properties possess a key competitive advantage when it comes to operational efficiency and environmental sustainability,” Filinvest’s Chief Sustainability Officer Mark Mulingbayan shared in a statement. 

The Group’s real estate arm Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) champions sustainable, eco-friendly solutions through their ‘Dreams Built Green’ commitment. This translates into some of FLI’s recent developments that are green and promote health and life tech, aiming to provide at least half of the footprint to be dedicated to open spaces.

Filinvest Malls currently uses a solar rooftop installation in Festival Mall that is a pioneer project of the joint venture firm Filinvest-ENGIE Renewable Energy Enterprise Inc. (FREE). In 2023, the Group announced the launch of four sustainable energy initiatives under FREE and Philippine DCS Development Corp. (PDDC). This includes a combined 13.68 megawatts (MW) of solar energy and 11,400 refrigeration tons (RT) of sustainable cooling capacity for Festival Supermall in Filinvest City, Alabang.

As part of the Group’s green commitment, Filinvest’s hospitality group also continues to incorporate green designs into their properties. Crimson Boracay and Crimson Mactan use double glazing to reduce heat in rooms, and all hotel properties have a longstanding policy on reduction of single use plastics. 

Filinvest business units have entered strategic partnerships with external partners where plastic wastes are being segregated at the back of houses of malls and hotels and is used for paving bricks manufacturing. The hospitality business has a standing policy on the minimization of single use plastics, focusing on the reuse or upcycling of its discarded materials.

Equal Opportunities

In setting up the business in 1955, Filinvest’s founders, the late Andrew and Mercedes Gotianun, had in mind to serve the middle-income Filipino, comprising majority of the working population. This focus has been a continuing commitment in the company.

Through its various investments, FDC has offered products and services that address the needs of a huge population of Philippine society. “The Group’s commitment to inclusivity is evident through the provision of consumer loans and affordable housing, ensuring energy security in areas where there is a shortage of power, offering lifeline water and sanitation services, and supporting the productivity of sugarcane farmers,” Mulingbayan said.

As part of the International Women’s Month, Filinvest Group women leaders, (from left to right) Ria Sarrosa (Vice President for Operations, Chroma Hospitality Inc.), Catherine Ilagan (President & COO, Filinvest Alabang Inc.), Aven Valderrama (FVP, General Manager for NCR MRBs and Housing, Filinvest Land Inc.), Mia Singson-Leon (General Manager, Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu), Cherie Fernandez (President & COO, Sharepro Inc.), and Isabelle Gotianun Yap (VP, Special Projects Officer and Executive Director of EastWest Banking Corporation), led a speed mentoring session to talk about Filipina Empowerment last March 25, 2024, at Crimson Alabang. Select Filinvest women stakeholders attended the Empowerment Circles.

Filinvest also fosters an agile organization that provides equal opportunities for diverse talents. The Group practices meritocracy in their organization, believing that everyone with the right skill is worthy of a position in the company.

The group prides itself on being gender blind. Currently, women comprise 57 percent of the corporation’s employees, 51 percent are executives, managers, and supervisors, and 50 percent of the executives are women.

Resiliency, Agility and Growth

Filinvest remains dedicated to its goals and actively consolidates and aligns resiliency and business continuity plans across the units to sustain and strengthen the conglomerate. It also recognizes that the ability to respond to disruptions and opportunities to the business lies mainly on the agility and future readiness of the people in the organization.

President and CEO Rhoda “Chiqui” Huang (3rd from left) with President of Pro-Excel Property Managers Inc. Maricar Rosal and Chief Operating Officer Ysmael Baysa (4th and 5th from left) together with executives, leaders, and stakeholders during an event focused on Filinvest’s corporate values.

In 2023, Filinvest Development Corporation marked a new era with the appointment of FDC President and CEO Rhoda “Chiqui” Huang and FDC Chief Operating Officer Ysmael V. Baysa. With Huang having over 30 years of experience in financial and government institutions and Baysa’s expertise in finance, their leadership can help drive agility and future readiness across the conglomerate. 

The latest plan for Filinvest Land Inc.’s City di Mare’s 58 hectares premier development, covering a 40-hectare mixed-used sector in Cebu City.

FDC has consistently established a reputation as a dependable economic and sustainable development partner with different strategic holdings. In the next five years, the Group plans to focus its efforts on shaping and optimizing the business portfolio, driving synergies and management systems, and developing a future-proof organization. Armed with such a strategic framework for future growth, the Group aims to “Fast Forward Filinvest.”