July 18, 2022

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URC aims to cut water, energy use in sustainability goals

UNIVERSAL Robina Corp. (URC) said that it is looking at reducing its energy and water usage and is promoting responsible sourcing of key ingredients for its products.

In a press release on Monday, URC said that it plans to reduce the amount of energy and water it uses in manufacturing its products by 30% against its 2020 baseline and that it is now looking for ways to responsibly source ingredients like palm oil, potatoes, and coffee beans.

The company said that it is aiming to achieve plastic neutrality through plastic waste collection, recovery, diversion initiatives, and collaborative projects that include community engagement and linking with local recyclers.

“Through efficient management of resources, and a consistent commitment to always give back, we aim to make lasting concrete changes on an institutional level, in a way that affects all operations, and demonstrates our resolve as a world-class manufacturer,” said URC President and Chief Executive Officer Irwin C. Lee.

To further achieve its aimed sustainability, URC has recently been named as regional co-chair for the Alliance to End the Plastics Waste which is a nonprofit organization that promotes solutions that reduce and avoid environmental pollution from plastic waste.

It is also an investor and strategic partner of Planet First, a purpose-led European growth investment platform dedicated to developing solutions to address sustainability challenges.

Mr. Lee said that 2021 presented a rehash of 2020’s challenges with various crises that left the global economy and the world climate feeble.

“The difference now, aside from an increased sense of urgency, is a greater amount of experience with which URC can face the odds — and we are now setting our sights on greater ambitions towards more sustainable futures,” Mr. Lee added.

URC said that it is now pivoting to make renewable energy take up a bigger share in its power use by installing solar panels at several of its facilities in the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

It is said to use manure, agricultural and food waste, and other organic materials as a renewable energy source.

The company also launched projects as part of its community support specifically in the areas of livelihood, sustainable farming, food availability, and security.

These projects include its agro-industrial group’s Kabalikat Village Hub, flour division’s Flourish Pilipinas, sugar and renewables division’s Project SALIG, and its sustainable potato program.

“In the coming years, we will continue to build upon our heritage of sustainable success through the programs and targets laid out in this sustainability report: from reducing our environmental impact all the way to achieving 100% quality and food safety certifications for our products,” Mr. Lee said.

At the stock market on Monday, shares in URC ended higher by 1.23% or P1.40 to finish at P114.80 apiece. — Justine Irish DP. Tabile